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Gift of 
Mrs. Lawrence C. Lockley 








By a professional PLAYER, 



Chapter I.— The Turpose of the Work— Violin Plaj-ers— The Triflor— 
The Showy Player— The Model Player— Holding' tlie Violin— Chin-Jtesta 
(Illustrated)— The Spoon. Double Kid;,'e, Spohr, Adjustable Voigt's Shoulder, 
and New Vulcanite Chiu-Kests — Their Advantages and Disadvantages 
Analysed and Explained. 

Chapter II. — Holding the Violin — Variations of the Position of the Left 
Hand (Illustrated)— The Normal Position — The Pirm Position — The Free 
Position— The Anticipating Position. 

Chapter III. — The Management of the Bow — The Action of the Fourth 
Finger (Illustrated) — The Position of the Thumb — The Left Hand— Flexible 
Fingering: How to attain it — Cork Stretching (Illustrated) — New Finger 
Stretching Exercise — The best Exercise ever written for the Violin — 
Stretching the Thumb. 

Chapter IV. — How to Judge and Select Strings— How to Keep and 
Improve Strings — The Points of a Good String — The Fourth String : How 
to use it— Preparing Strings for Solo Playing — The "A" String Catcher. 

Chapter V.— Adjusting the Violin — The Bridge — The Sound Post — 
The Strings- -The Ba.^s Bar — Resetting the Neck and Finger Board — Lining 
or "Sandwiching" — The Pegs — The Patent Holdfast Peg — the New Peg 

Chapter VI. — Violins, Old and New — The Adjuster — Eusty Cremonas 
-^Frauds for the Experienced — Mixed Cremonas — False Tickets and Ileal — 
The most reliable Experts — How to Judge Old Violins. 

Chapter VII. — Frauds for the Inexperienced — Frauds in Bows — How 
to Judge, Select, and Preserve a Bow — Kestoring the Spring of a Bow — 
Cleaning the Hair of the Bow. 

Chapter VIII. — Tone, Forced and Developed — Cetting beyond Rules — 
Consolation to the Solo Player — The Close Shake : How to Master it. 

Chapter IX. — Concluding Advice — The Earless Scraper — Common 
Faults of Advanced Players — Duet Playing — Orchestral Playing — Solo 
Playing — List of Effective Solos — The Powers of the Violin — Appendix, 
Bach's Sonatas for Violin alone — Women as Instrumentalists — Arpeggio 
Staccato Playing : How to Master it. 





And all Muskse his and Booksellers. 




The Purpose of the "Work. 

THE extensive field over which my little works appear to 
have travelled has called forth a very great amount of 
correspondence, always eulogistic, but generrdly containing also 
many practical questions on points not fully explained in the 
books. On many of these points there must always be some 
difTerence of opinion, but so far as it is in my power I shall 
cndeavoiir to make them clear in these pages in a manner so 
impartial that the reader may to a great extent rely iipon liis 
own judgment in the adoption or rejection of the hints. Many 
of them need not be placed before a beginner at all, inasmuch 
as so many minute details are apt to scare a young player. 
It is therefore to violin players more than beginners that I now 
address myself, and more especially the earnest student. 

The Trifler. 

Hundreds of violin players, so called, only trifle with the 
instrument — they play with the violin, not on it. They are a 
fraud and imposition; they are the clog of all Amateur 
Orchestral Societies, with their violins never perfectly in tune, 
and their fingers always dragging and scumbling any passage 
of moderate difficulty, or losing their heads, and flying off half 
a beat before every one else when the notes happen to be with- 
in their reach. Any one may make a mistake at times, but 
these triflers are always making mistakes, and smiling blandly 
over them, or arguing the point hotly, and plainly implying 
that every one else was wrong. You may tell the trifler at u 



glance almost by the manner in which he handles his violin — 
as if it were an old boot, and he were afraid of soiling his fingers 
with it. He never digs into severe exercises at home for a 
couple of hours at a time, though he may appear to be playing 
for that time, and generally thinks that he works tremendously 
hard at the instrument. His very fingers and the set of his 
hand to the instrument will tell the sharp-eyed one that he is 
not a player. 

The Showy Player. 

A nuisance in less degree is the player who is always anxious 
to show off his execution for the benefit of the over-awed 
second violins, by making tremendous runs and skimming away 
into harmonics, which after all are so easy of mastery that a 
child can be taught in ten minutes to play a scale of them. 
The showy player practises a deal, tut mostly at tricky music, 
and generally declares good muisc slow. He is a great man 
behind the scenes or at practices, but often a nobody on the 
platform, where he loses his head more quickly than a stupid 
player. He is always at his solo playing when there is an 
interval, or when others wish to tune, and if he plays a solo in 
public he comes on with a pert air and knowing smirk, which 
declare at once that there is no musical soul within. Great 
music can never come out of that poor tiling, Conceit is 
never allied to true greatness. No real artist ever puts on airs 
or strikes ridiculous attitudes to distract attention from the 
music he is rendering. These tricks are reserved for the showy 
player, for the small-headed musician, and for lady players, who 
have accentuated and exaggerated the styles of their masters. 
I have been able to trace the style of one great teacher thus 
burlesqued through several lady players, and should recognise 
it anywhere the moment the violin were held up. That is 
saddening. It reminds me of a tragedian, now forgotten, who 
so closely imitated Charles Kean that he spoke with the snivel, 
which was Kean's impediment. It should be remembered thn,t 
great players are great not through, but in spite of, any 
peculiarity of style. 

The Model Player. 

The earnest student is the model player. He is always 
quiet and unassuming in the company of other players, and 


generally before a concert gets into a qnict corner with hia 
tiddlo and scrapes away at some intricate passage not at all 
showy or pleasant to listen to, but of great benefit to his fingers 
or his violin. The strings, the instrument, and the player's 
fingers are thus prepared, for what is to come. He works hard 
at home, and is not dainty in his selection of miisic, but will dig 
steadily into anything which he finds trying to his fingers or 
his bow. He thinks nothing of getting up in the morning two 
hours before other folks are out of bed, and scraping away at 
the severest of studies. Thus, when the slovenly and sleepy 
drone, who takes ten times as long as others to get out his 
fiddle and tune it, is staring in dismay at a new piece, your 
model plaj-er is quietly running his eye over the pages, noting 
the keys and the diihcult passages, and he is thus ready to play 
it at sight, while the drone or the triflcr can only make a wild • 
scramble through. He is never taken by surprise, and he 
handles his violin not as if he were afraid of it, but as a man 
handles a spirited horse which he means to master. He is eager 
to learn every means by which his power can be extended and 
increased. He is not necessarily a clever or experienced player, 
but he is certain through time to be both. To him I give these 
hints, feeling assured that they will smooth his path and allow 
him to accomplish in a short time that which might not come 
with years of blind struggling. Possibly the friendly poke in 
the ribs which I have administered to his less earnest brethren 
may rouse them to emidate his example, and not only read 
these hints but work them out. 

Holding the Violin. 

Many players are anxious to know which is the best chin- 
rest or violin-holder, and others as eagerly ask, " Is it 
necessary to use a chin-rest at all 1 " There is no best chin- 
rest, and whether a chin-rest is necessary depends upon cir- 
cumstances. ]\Iadame Ncruda uses neither a chin-rest nor a 
shoulder-pad; yet a London dealer, in advertising his shoulder- 
pads, coolly declares that without them no lady can hohl tho 
violin properly. The time is fast approaching when advertiser 
and liar will be synonymous terms. Madame Neruda makea 
her shoulder her violin-rest — a favourite position with ladies. 
However, even that is not necessary in some cases. Twenty years 
ago, I heard Mdlle. Bertha Brousil, of the Brousil Family, 



perform Hauser's " Bird in a Tree," violin solo, in the Music 
Hall, Edinburgh. This accomplislied artiste wore an evening 
dress, and so could use no pad as a support to the violin ; yet 
while tightening her bow, she did not take her violin from her 
chin, but held it there rigid and straight out, with the chin and 
collar bone alone, without the support of either the shoulder or 
the left hand. The position will be seen in the accompanying 
full-length figure, illustrating the power of the adjustable Spohr 
chin-rest. "Whether a chin-rest is necessary depends upon the 
size of the player's collar bone, the build of the violin he uses, 

and the music he plays. If the 
collar bone be small, and not 
likely to develop, or if the 
player chooses to cover the 
collar bone over with an un- 
wieldy pasteboard stiffened scarf, 
and thus keep out the violin, he 
had better have a chin-rest. 
Violins with bulging breasts, 
such as those of Gaspard di 
Salo and some of the Amatis, 
are exceedingly difficult to grip 
with the chin without the aid of 
a holder. Again, if the music 
performed be of a difficult and 
severe character, with much 
shifting and playing upon very 
high positions, a chin-rest will 
generally be an advantage, if 
not an absolute necessity. The 
shifting down of the hand with- 
" out moving the violin is an 

easy matter with or without a 
ohin-rest, but. as I have already shown, side slipping — that 
is, the sliding of the violin towards the right hand — demands 
a preventative, as in performing such a piece as Paganini's 
*' Moto Perpetuo " there is absolutely not one moment from 
beginning to end during which the left hand is free to right 
the slip. I shall notice this piece more particularly iu 
Chapter III., while treating of "Flexible Fingering." 


The Spoon Chin-Rest. 

The chin-rest known 
as the Joachim, "wiiich 
may be had for 2s. 6d., 
and the " Spoon Rest," 
shown in the accompany- 
ing engi'aving, which is 
a shght modification of 
the Joachim, and costs 
a shilling more, do not 
absolutely prevent side 
slipping, unless a pad or 
handkerchief be used 
along with the chin- 

Ko 1. 

The Co'Jible-ridge Chin-Rest. 

The most popular chin-rest, and one which almost entirely 
prevents side slipping, is that made in the form shown in the 
engraving below. 

It may be had with both ridges covered with velvet, and the 
rough surface of that velvet on the under ridge prevents side 
slipping. This under _ 

ridge also takes the place 
of a pad, and allows the 
head of the performer to 
be held higher. It is 
usually necessary to cut 
the velvet from under- 
neath the ridges, except at 
the edge, so that they may 
rise clear of the breast and 
back of the violin, and 
touch the instrument only 
above the ribs. The 
objections to the velvet are, that it is often so badly dyed as 
to stain the shirt front, and so soon wears smooth and gets 
greasy, that it is necessary to renew the velvet. At my 
suggestion, the makers have therefore produced a double ridge 



rest of the same model, ^vith vulcanite ridges, carefully and 
closely serrated so as to give the indispensable roughness 
for preventing side slipping. Tlie rest thus improved is cleanly 
and effectual, and needs no renewing of surface. Care has also 
been taken that the ridges rise clear of the breast and back of 
the violin except above the ribs, so that no cutting away is 
necessary to prevent muting of the tone ; indeed, my impression 

is that this vulcanite 
rest, as well as No. 6, 
noticed farther on, 
rather improves and 
gives compactness to 
the tone. This im- 
proved chin-rest, which 
is shown in the annexed 
engraving, has been 
named " The Profes- 
sional Player's," and 
may be had from Messrs 
Kohler cfe Son, 1 1 North 
Bridge, price 3s., rough 
or smootli surface. 
To prevent misapprehension, I may state that I have no 
interest whatever in tlie manufacture of these or any chin-rests, 
and the same remark applies to every thing recommended in 
this work. 

The broader patch of the rest shown in the first engraving 
is chiefly recommended by the makers as a preservative to the 
breasts of old violins ; and certainly if a violin had been very 
much broken and patched immediately underneath the chin, 
some such protector would be necessary. 

Ko. 3. 

The Spohr Adjustable Chin-Rest. 

But the same end would be served, and additional advan- 
tages gained, by using the newly patented Adjustable Spohr 
Chin-Rest, made by Jenour Brothers, 49 Theobald's Road, 
London, of which, by the kindness of the jjatentee, I am 
enabled to give engravings below. What is jiossible with 
this chin-rest is shown in the first engraving. The position 
and feat is exactly that which I have noted as having been 
done by Mdlle. Brousil without either pad or chin-rest, but 


tlicu every one is not a Brousil. I have tested the holder, 
and find that it is perfectly easy to accomi)lish the above 
apparently marvellons feat, -with the holder adjusted as in the 
following engraving . — 

The advantages of this 
position are that the plate 
of tlic chin-rest touches the 
violin only at one end ; that 
the metal attachment is 
fixed on that part of the 
violm at Avhich there is a 
solid block of wood \nidor- 
neath, and tliercfore is less 
likely to mnte the tone or 
impede vibration, and that 
besides the excellent grip 
that is given, the violin is 
placed and kept at its proper 
slope for correct playing. There is real comfort in the hollow 
of the plate, which has been shaped with great care to the 
chin, and this plate may be had of diamonded wood or 
covered with velvet. It is the adjustable part of the holder, 
however, Avhich will insure its adoption by many players. One 
may wish the plate as I have shown it, another might prefer 
one of the two following positions : — - 

No. A. 

Many men, many minds. The only objection to this 
chin-rest will probably be its appearance on the violin 



or its size. Most players 
who x;so a chiu-rest are 
half-ashamed of it, and like 
it to be as small and un- 
obtrusive as possible. The 
price is six shillings. For 
my own part, I should prefer 
the double narrow ridge 
vidcanitc holder already 
noticed, to this or any that I 
have seen ; but tastes differ 

Ko. 4. 

Voigt's Chin-Rest. 

Some may even consider the holding up of the violin by the 
left han 1 as an unnecessary labour and fatigue, and with a 
view to meeting their wants, the chin-rest next shown has been 

designed. It is named " Voigt's Violin Combined Chin and 
Shoulder Rest." By an ingenious arrangement for lengthening 
the plate, which here takes the place of the ordinary screw or 



screws, a kind of bracket, ending Avith a velvet-covered pad, is 
made to project from under the violin on to the left breast of 
the pei-former. It is an ungainly contrivance, but docs prevent 
side-slipping, thougli the bracket is not acute enough to keep 
the violin horizontal, and tlic invention gives no more power in 
holding np the violin — as already shown in the fuU-lengtli 
figure — than docs the "Sjjohr Adjustable Chin-Rest." There 
is also an objection to this which api)lics to many violin chin- 
rests. In the strict school of violin ])laying, no movement of 
the body, or the chin, or the violin is allowed ; nevertheless, 
even with the greatest of players, perfect rigidity is not possible, 
nor would it be graceful ; and it is recovery from these elastic 
movements, and the rigliting of any minute slips of the violin, 
which are somewhat liampcrcd by this elaborate bracketing 
arrangement of Voigt's. The design is of American manu- 
facture ; the metal part nickel plated; the chin-plate of pol- 
ished black vulcanite ; and the price is 7s. 6d. The makers 
are ]\Iessrs Alban Voigt & Co., 25 Edmund Place, Aldersgate 
Street, London. 

The last chin-rest which I need notice is that represented in 
the engravino- No. G. 

This is an exceedingly comfortable rest; rises clear of the 
violin breast over the greater part of its under surfiace ; and 
does not mute, but rather improves the tone. 

The chin plate is made of polished black-vulcanite, the screw 
of polished nickel silver, and the workmanship perfect. The 
price is 4s. The postage on any chin-rest is usually 2(1. These 
rests may be ordered from the makers, or from Messrs Kohler 



& Son, 11 North Bridge, Ediiiburgli, or through any music- 
seller. As the present work is sold by most nnisicsellers, I 
have affixed numbers to the illustrations, so that players 
sending from a distance may order by simply naming the 
number in the book. 

One objection to all these chin-rests but No. 2 and No. 6, is 
that they do not allow of the violin being tucked as far as 
jxjssihle in under the chin. To some this may appear a trivial 
objection, but the thoiightful student — the really knowing and 
long-headed one — will, through time, discover that the nearer 
his left hand can be brought to his face, the more power he 
has in commanding the instrument. Tliat is the true reason 
why the violin in the hands of all great artists appears such a 
small instrument — three inches at least cf its broad end are 

iSo. G, fixed in position. 

out of sight under the chin. Every eighth of an inch so hidden 
means so much power added to tlie execution Avith the left 
hand ; every eighth of an incli wliich the chin is taken back, 
means so much hampering of the powers of the left hand. 
With the biggest patch that has yet been offered as a chin-rest, 
the chin, when in the hollow of the plate, is only one and a 
half inches over the ribs ; there is thus a loss of at least an 
inch and a half, which is equal with some to playing upon a 
viola instead of a violin. A player with long arms and thin 
fingers, and fully three inches of the violin tucked out of 
sight under his chin, has no limit to his powers ; the instru- 
ment is small — a mere " three-quarter " violin — to him. For 
this reason I most strongly recommend tliosc violin-holders 
which place no limit upon the passing over of the chin on to 
the breast of the violin, namely No. 2 and No. 6. Of all 




holders which thus hampex- the phiycr, the Joachim is the 
■worst; indeed, any iihiyer of average stretching powers may 
pass his chin com- 
pletely over the plate 
of this holder, and rest 
it on the breast in 
front. Nor is the 
power so lost or gained 
confined to the left 
hand, for every eighth 
of an inch so lost or 
gained means the bow 
taken tluit much 
further away from the 
player, or brought that 
much nearer, and with 
that the power to draw 
it further in a straight 
line without either the 
turning over of the 
stick towards the 
player, or the quitting 
of the fourtli finger. 

As to this last objec- 
tion, let the student 
not make up his mind 
hastily, but for himself 
test the soundness of 
what I have here advance 1, and be guided and influenced by 
the advice only if he finds that it is built upon a firm scientific 

Iloliliiig tlie Violin h^' tlic aid of Xo. 
Cliin-Kest onlv. 




Holding the Violin — Variations of the Position of the 
Left Hand. 

Having decided Avhether to use a chin rest or not, and how 
best to (1) keep the violin as nearly as possible horizontal, (2) 
at its proper slope towards the right hand for perfect and easy 
command of all the strings, and (3) to prevent it slipping 
either forward or to the side during any pei'formance, however 
rapid or long contimied, the player may consider the position 
and action of the thumb and fingers of the left hand. 

In the frontispiece of the later editions of The Violin: IIoiu to 
Master it, I have given an engraving from a photograph, shovr- 
ing the position of the thumb on the neck of the violin thus — 

This may be named the Normal Position, and is correct for 
the performance of all music not of a very rapid nature. But 
when it comes to the performance of a study such as Paganini's 
"Moto Perpetuo," all in semiquavers, and requiring firm and 
rapid fingering, a stronger clasp on the neck of the violin is 
imperative, and the thumb is bent slightly at the first joint 



This mny be named the 
do so is acniiiix'd, moro 

so as to grip the neck more firmly. This may be named tlio 
Firm Position, and is shown iu the following engraving: — 

The thumb is really, 
on the first position at 
least, the sole guide and 
anchor of the whole 
hand, as any very 
strong pressure or grip 
"with the bottom of 
the forefinger is to be 
deprecated. Through 
time, indeed, the player 
may, on the first posi- 
tion, perform many 
notes, shakes, and even 
short passages Avith the 
neck of the violin held 
solely by the thumb 
and the points of the fingers in use. 
Free Position. Till the ability to 
especially with those who have not 
begun to play at a very early age, 
a good shake, close or open, on the 
first position, is almost an impossi- 
bility. The annexed engraving 
■will illustrate this variation of the 
normal position, and shows the 
forefinger entirely free of contact 
■with the neck of the violin. 

Many players realise through 
time that variations of the normal 
position are absolutely necessary to 
the execution of certain pieces of 
music, and instinctively adjust 
their hand to the changes ; but 
some never understand them, and 
remainhampercd for life, astonished 
and amazed at the execution of others, and at length despair- 
ingly attributing to superior ability that which only arises from 
superior knowledge. 

The majority of the violin tutors only perpetuate the blunder, 
by at least implying that one rigid and immovable position of 

the left hand is to be adopted and adhered to. 



The third modification of the normal position is one which is 
absohitely necessary of acquirement by all who desire to attain 
to really fine playing, and may be named the Anticipating 
Position. AVhen a passage such as the following — 

Tirez. imc Corde. 

containing two rapid shifts on tlie fourth string, faces the 
student, to keep the thumb in the firm position already shown 
would surely hamper his execution of the run, if not make it 
impossible. He must with his thumb, from the first note, 
anticipate what is to follow, by bringing the hand well over 
tlie strings, and sinking the thumb further under the neck, as 
shown in the folio winii illustration : — 

The reason for these variations — and there is a reason for 
everything in violin playing — is that the violin and strings 
being kept in a position almost rigid, cannot accommodate 
themselves to the hand and fingers of the player, therefore the 
hand and fingers must accommodate themselves to the violin 
and strings. The mountain will not come to Mahomet — 
]\Iahomet must go to the mountain. The ignorant player, 
indeed, will laboriously make the mountain come to Mahomet ; 
and we frequently see him turn up the violin to a more acute 
angle when faced by a passage on the fourth string, and drop 


it back to rest auuin when the passage is finished; but that is 
mere fiddhng, not violin i)hiving. The violinist may move his 
body, his head, his arm, his hand, his fingers, his thumb, or 
even his feet and toes if he likes, but never the violin; that 
privilege is reserved solely for the iitldler and scraper. 

In reality, the right way is always the easiest way. The 
left hand adjusts itself with the utmost facility to the above 
variations; and when they have been intelligently studied and 
mastered, the execution with the left hand is boundless. No 
passage finds the fingex'S unprepared, and a phrase which would 
be a terror to the mere fiddle-scraj)er never costs the 
" canning " one a thought. A little knowledge goes a great 
■way; and the celebrated painter who attained such great 
results by "mixing his colours with brains" is a good model 
and example for the violin student. 


The Management of the Bow. 

As in many other points of detail, the same rule will not 
apply rigidly to every one in the management of the bow. 
The principal rules I have already given in The Violin : How 
to Master it (page 35), and these will be found capable of 
almost universal application. They have been discovered, 
adopted, and almost reduced to a science by the greatest and 
best violin players of all times. Here and there, however, a 
new pi'ophet starts up, and the student is puzzled and 
staggered by the strange utterances ; but a thoughtful investi- 
agtion, will generally demonstrate that the main principles 
laid down by all are the same. To draw the bow straight 
in a line parallel with the bridge, and to play with the 
hair turned on its outer edge, arc the two points of good 
playing upon which every writer and teacher insists ; how best 
to accomplish that acme of good playing the rules already 
alluded to will show. But on some minor points thei'e must 
be a difference of opinion, as there arc differences of hands, 
fingers, and arms. One writer says, that allowing the point of 




the little finger to quit the stick, ^vhcn the extreme point of 
the bow is used, is to be regretted and deprecated. There are 
many things to be regretted in violin playing, but of tAvo evils 
it is always best to choose the least. Those who are blessed 
with long arms and fingers Avill usually find that they can 
draw the bow to its point without this quitting of the little 
finger, and with only a slight turning over of the bow towards 
the player as it nears the point. One of our greatest players 
does so. But all are not so blessed, and all do not approve of 
this slight turning over of the bow at every long stroke, and 
the remedy of using a shorter bow is a poor one. 

The Third Finger a Substitute for the Fourth. 

Besides, when the little finger does quit the stick, it leaves 
the third finger to do its work. The palm of the point of the 

tliird finger is then 
pressed firmly upon the 
stick with the first joint 
slightly dejDressed, and 
the whole finger then 
acts as the balancer of 
the stick, in place of 
the fourth. The better 
to sliow the position 
while the bow is thus 
managed entirely with 
three fingers and the 
thumb, I have removed 
the hair and nut of the bow. In executing the upward stroke 
of the staccato bow, the above position and action of the fingers 
are imperative, as the strokes begin at the point and do not go 
past the middle of the bow ; and so the fourth finger, with 
many hands, never gets a chance to resume its place as chief 
balancer. The fourth finger touches the stick except wlicn 
the extreme point of the bow is being used, but the chief 
weight is borne by the third, as already described. 

With the bow held thus, perfect command for any kind of 
stroke with the upper part is attained, and that without any 
tilting over of the stick towards the player, and consequent 
playing with the flat of the hair, or on its inner edge. With 
the majority of hands and arms, if this method be not adopted, 


and the foui-th finger be kept supporting the stick during the 
passage of the entire length of tlie bow across the strings, a 
curve in the bowing is inevitable. The possible exceptional 
cases are where the player has long arms and long fingers with 
very flexible joints, and has begun to play in early childhood. 

The Position of the Thumb. 

It is not the extreme point of the thumb which presses the 
stick, but the palm of the point, inclined to the side. The 
point indeed is thrust through xuider the end of the hair till 
it almost meets and touches the point of the second finger 
coming round the stick from the opposite side. Courvoisier 
recommends that part of the point should rest on the Avood of 
the nut, which he wishes cut away for the purpose ; but though 
this gives a certain degree of comfort to some thumbs, it has. 
the drawback of seriously hampering the bowing by the hard 
ferule of the nut pressing the back of the nail, in place of the 
elastic hair. Any serious discomfort or pain in the thumb will 
usually be remedied by using the side of the palm instead of 
the tip as the point of pressure, and by substituting a soft bit 
of leather for the metal-covered thread usually wound round 
that part of the stick, which thread is often of base metal, and 
becomes corroded and poisonous. 

The Left Hand — Flexible Fingering. 

It is difficult to get the young, and more especially boys, to 
practise the violin steadily, and many parents give up the at- 
tempt with the words, " Wait till he is a little older, and knows 
the value of it." A little older generally means about the age 
of fourteen, and during the lapse of these years the muscles of 
the left hand which would have been split and set free have 
united and stiffened. To inido all that requires an amount of 
hard work and practice which are lamentable when it is con- 
sidered how small an amount of daily practice during those 
seven or eight years, now for ever lost, would have prevented 
the evil. To find a player who has begim at the age of six — 
Madame Neruda perfoi'med solos in i)ublic at that age — is the 
exception; to find them beginning at the ago of sixteen or even 
later is painfully common. Seeing, then, that the majority 


begin too late, their first study should be to find out the best 
means for most quickly luidoing the mischief. The flexibility 
of finger and looseness of hand -will never be quite so great as 
it would have been, by beginning young and keeping at the 
practice, but it will be very much greater than if none of the 
following means were tried, and cei'tainly more quickly attained. 
The playing on the fourth string of severe studies and exercises, 
requiring firm fingering and far stretching — such as Campag- 
noli's "Four Studies in Monochord Playing" (price 3s. 6d.; 
London: Cocks & Co., New Burlington Street), which after 
they are mastered may all be put on the fourth string^is a 
means of advancement, but too little known and understood even 
by professional players. The fourth string is most difficult of 
access ; therefore, to constantly command its entire length, 
entails muscular exertion of the fingers, hand, and left arm, of 
the greatest benefit to the player, who will thus fit himself for 
feats on the other strings which would otherwise be impossible. 
Paganini understood this, and, notwithstanding his extraordinary 
length of finger and peculiarly thin and bony hand, forced him- 
self to perform the most difiicult studies winch his brain could 
suggest, entirely on the fourth string. In a letter to a friend 
he said : — 

" A few weeks afterwards I produced a sonata on the fourth 
string, which I entitled 'Napoleon,' and executed it on the 25th 
of Augixst before a large and brilliant audience. Its success 
far surpassed my expectation, and I may date from that period 
my predilection for the lower string; and as my audience never 
seemed to weary of the pieces I composed for it, I have at 
length arrived at that degree of facility which appears to have 
so much surprised you." 

The practising of three octave scales and broken chords, such 
as those given in the appendix to Boosey's edition of " Spohr's 
Violin School," is another hand-loosener, which no advanced 
player can affoi'd to neglect. These ought to be gone over at 
least twice a week, taking the run of three octaves in one 
bow, and giving no "undue prominence or accent to any parti- 
cular note in the scales. 

Playing tenths on the violin is also a good stretcher for the 
fingers ; and the shake exercises in Kreutzer's " Forty Studies 
for the Violin " have never been excelled for developing, surely 
if slowly, firmness and independence of fingering; but if the three 
exercises now to be described be taken along with these, the 
result will astonish the student. 



Cork Stretching. 

The first of these is finger-stretchiny witli corUs. T;ikc tnrcc 
full-sizcil corks, aiul push one right up to the socket of each 
finger of the left hand, as shown in the followinir engraving: — 

It is best to i^ush in the centre 
cork last. The corks may at first 
be simply kept i)et\veen the fingers 
for a few minutes, but after a little 
the player may practise shutting 
and opening his fingers, first to- 
gether and then separately. If he 
cannot at first get the fingers to 
obey, he may help them in tlie 
exercise with his right hand. The 
effect of this cork practice is to split 
more deeply tlie muscles which 
control the fingei's, which muscles 
are connected at the knuckles Oi 
the hand, and so to a certain extent 
prevent the fingers from acting in 

dependently of each other. How helpless most of us are in this 
respect, any one may prove by shutting his fingers, not the 
whole hand, firmly down on those fleshy cushions at their base, 
known in palmistry as the mounts of Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun, 
and ^lercury, and then trying to extend the third or fourth finger 
without moving the others. Not one in a thousand can accom- 
plish this apparently simple action, and the cause of fixilure is 
this connection of the muscles in the body of the liand. The 
cork-stretching, if practised for a sliort time daily, soon gives 
independence of action and flexibility of fingering, besides the 
ability to stretch easily the intervals recpiircd in the next 

Finger-Stretching Exercise. 

The second exercise is one of my own designing, and mos 
students, when they first set eyes on it, are either appalled at 
the apparent difliculty, or led to bluntly declare that it is im- 
possible of execution. " I don't believe it can be done — let mo 
see you do it," has been more than once triumphantly levelled 
at me as an apparent clincher by students, who changed their 



Finger-Stretching Exercises. 

The Position. ' ]?X. 1 

Play each twelve times 
wii hout stopping. 


The Position. 

The Position. 

Ex. 3. 

i f: i^ H^ .f: f: -^^ .fA_t_fe_t_ti_t 


JL ^ -^ -P- -P- A -^ -^ ,f: :^ f: :^ if: :?: if^ 

• • .p. -^ A -(*- -^ -^ -P- -P- -^ f: -P- f: ■ 


tone very quickly, wlicu I not only played it with case, but in 
a moment oi- two transferred the power to them. The special 
bars at the beginning give the position of the first and fonilh 
fingei's on the strings, and the interval stretched is first a tenth, 
then an eleventh, and lastl}' a twelfth, which is cqiial to stretch- 
ing a whole octave on one string. The intervening notes must 
be played with great distinctness, and the first and fourth 
fingers kept on the strings with great firmness, except in the 
third exercise, in which one lifting of the first finger is imper- 
ative. To get the position the fourth finger must be placed 
upon the string first, and the first finger drawn back to its 
note afterwards. If it will not come back, push it back with 
the point of the heel of the bow in the right hand, and having 
got it on the proper spot, keep it there. The exercises are of 
progressive difficulty, but even the last is not so stupendously 
difficult of execution as it may seem. In commanding the low 
notes, the first finger must be turned somewhat on its side. A 
little practice occasionally at this exercise will give great flexi- 
bility to the fingers and looseness to the whole hand, and 
make the stretching of an extra semitone, or even a whole tone, 
from the first position quite easy. 

Pagauini's "Perpetual Motion." 

The third exercise is Paganini's "Moto Perpetuo," which may 
be had, with pianoforte accompaniment, for Is. Gd., of any 
musicseller, or direct from Messrs Schott & Co., 159 Regent 
Street, London. Though it is often performed as a solo, there 
is vei'y little music in it. It is a mere trick piece to show 
rapid execution; but it is the best exercise for the violin ever 
written, whether it was really composed by Paganini or not. 
It is a kind of Spinyilied, written from beginning to end in semi- 
quavers, modulates into a dozen different keys, and takes the 
hand on to every Position but the Second, from the Frst to the 
Ninth, with many stretched notes, to save shifting. It does 
not look difficult, and it really is not difficult until the proper 
speed is attempted, when its real nature is revealed. To play 
it through should take less than five minutes, but he will be a 
smart player who, \dt\\ a week's practice, can get through it ia 

The real difficulty of tlie study lies in there being not a 
single pause or long resting note from the beginning to tho 
end. The muscles of the left hand, however fatigued, get not 


the slightest pause to recruit or recover, but must exert them- 
selves through the most rapid shifts and fingering, at the same 
break -neck speed till the last C is sounded. For this reason, 
when by slow degrees the piece has been mastered, it is much 
less fatiguing to play it at its proper speed in five minutes, than 
to take it slowly and occupy ten or fifteen ; and until the 
proper speed is attained, the real musical meaning of the piece 
is never heard. It is the best exercise ever written for the 
violin, because (1) it is utterly impossible to play it through at 
its proper speed and hold cither the violin or the left hand 
wrong; (2) it gives great agility and flexibility to the fingers; 
(3) it is excellent wrist practice for the right hand ; (4) it 
compels firm fingering, that the rapid notes may not degenerate 
into a mere scufifle ; and (5) though there is not a shake in it, 
it gives the power to make a good open shake. The study 
should be taken slowly at first, great care being exercised in 
the choice of fingering, as it is not easy to make after altera- 
tions; and the whole played with the upper half of the bow 
(held as shown in the illustration given at page 18), the forte 
passages at the middle, and the piano passages with the 
upper third part. If perfect command of the bow has been 
attained, the piece may all be played at tlie middle, the gradu- 
ations of tone being entirely controlled by the pressure of the 
first finger. It is to be played tln-oughout in what ixiay be 
named the "Rounded Staccato" — tliat is, the notes are neither 
to be "chopped," nor the bow taken from the string as in 
staccato ler/^jiew. The notes are played only a little sharper 
than if they were not marked with dots. Crisp, clean, and neat 
would express the treatment of these notes better than staccato, 
and the hair of the bow rises a little, but docs not entirely 
leave the string between each note. (For an explanation of 
the difterent meanings of the word Staccato, see The Violin: 
IIoiv to Master it, page 101.) I append the fingering of some 
of the bars not amenable to the ordinary rules, — merely adding, 
that whenever a shift can be made on an open string, either 
ascending or descending, no pains should be spared to get at 
that open string for the purpose ; and that when a shift or 
an awkward crossing from one string to another can be saved, 
or a blur avoided by stretching for a note, it nuist be done, 
even at the expense of a little delay in the mastering. 


Moto Perpetuo. 
Page 4, Bar 2. 

!=i|-fr rf : ^ gTrr J :z gJ -UJ- i-L- U L - t?g-U4-f-^:g ^ 

Page 5, Bar 16. 

1 4 1 ? 1 


3 «-(— 4 
» "1— t— I— •( ■''1 131«413 1 

Page 6, Bar 21. 


:t a 3 
■ « F-« 1 3 15 »-a -• 1 

Page 6, Bar 24. 
Gth Position, 

1 4 


1 4^ 

It is not an easy piece to get into the memory, so many of 
the phrases resemble each otlier, but by taking a page at a 
time, this may be accomphshcd, and the whole played right 
oft' without any stopping to turn over leaves. It is a capital 
study for any of those odd occasions when the student's leisure 
is limited to five or ten minutes, as it crams the greatest 
possible amount of "fatigue drill" into the time, which might 
otherwise be lost. When it is mastered it may easily be ruu 
through two or three times a day. 

Stretching the Thumb. 

Besides rendering the fingers flexil)le and independent, it is 
necessary to so stretch the fork of the thumb that the higher 



positions may be commanded with ease, liowever suddenly they 
may have to be attacked. 

To allow the thumb to quit the neck of the viohn entirely 
and rest on the ribs, is a desperate remedy, and one which 
should be adopted only when all other means have failed. The 
best stretcher for the thumb is playing steadily at any extem- 
porised exercise for up on the fourth string, such as the 
following : — 

Ex. 1. 

Repeat adlib. 


"f*"^ rTTi I 11 I I'll 


I i ! ! 

P^ PP^ 



Repeat ad lib. 

The phrases within the dotted double bars may be repeated 
twenty times without stopj^ing, and the first finger must be 
kept down with great firmness, to ensure of no moving of the 
hand after the position is gained. The whole of this exercise 
may be easily played without removing the thumb from the 
neck of the violin. If the thumb will not stretch to allow of 
the higher position being commanded, the following arpeggio 
for one string may be practised, putting it cit first on the first 
string (E Major), and taking it gradually back till the fourth 
is reached. 



Ex. 3. 

4th String. 

ou-mg. 1 g 1 ■> n 4 n 4 >.»: 4 3 

U 1 1 2 1 2 1^» ^ • « i I n**^2 1 

■- -^ ^- r - !:•- -^^ 

The notes may be played separately at first. The scale for 
one struig ^Yhich follows, is also an excellent stretcher for the 
thumb. Any player of average intelligence may invent dozens 
of these exercises for himself. 

To steadily practise these gymnastics and studies, cannot 
fail to surely and rapidly develop the powers of the left hand. 


How to Judge and Select Strings. 

A good second or third string should be clear and trans- 
parent, quite smooth and round, and show none of the twists 
of the strands. When these strings are of a yellowish hue 
and opaque, and show the twists of the strands, they are old, 
and the tone will bo dull aud thick, even if they be put on a 
good violin. A good first string, whether it be rough or 
polished, should feci firm in the fingers, and when the fasten- 
ings of the coil are cut the string should bound out vcr^- much 


like a steel spring when set free. I prefer first strings also 
when they are transparent, but there are exceptions. If the 
string be white and opaque it will generally be a " screamer," 
and will not respond to any but the strongest pressure of tho 
bow. If it has a limp, soft greasy feel in the fingers, and is 
also dull in its transparency, it will not be durable. If a 
string in being screwed np changes from transparent to 
opaque, it is bad, and the tone will be rusty if it does not snap 
before you can get it up to pitch. A string may be dull in its 
transparency (witliout the greasy softness), and yet be a capital 
string both for durability and tone. There is a polished Iloman 
string of fine quality, usually sold at ninepence, which feels 
soft and velvety in the fingers, but which is delightful in tone, 
though somewhat weak and soft. This string is clear as glass, 
and pretty durable. 

A string, resembling this closely, is made and sold by J. 
Edwin Bonn, Brading, Isle of Wight, under the name of the 
"Premier Violin String." It lies limp and inert when the 
coils are set free, instead of having that fine spring, which is 
generally a sign of a lirilliant tone, and like most severely 
polished strings, a good deal of the soul has been groiuid out 
of it. It is a pretty string to look at, and that is about all that 
can be said about it. The price is ninepence for one string of 
three lengths. 

A first string, which goes up to pitch with but a few turns 
of the peg, will generally be durable. The first string is the 
most important, as it is apt to break at an awkward moment, 
therefore the player should not rest till he discovers some 
dealer who can supply him with exactly the string he needs, 
and then keep by tliat string and that dealer. Distance need 
be no drawback, as the penny post has brought all places 

Violin strings should never be oiled after they come from the 
maker. Oiling dulls the tone, rots the string, and makes the 
missing of notes in piano passages almost certain. 'Cello strings, 
howevei', which last longer, being so much thicker, are some- 
times improved by being taken off the 'cello, oiled lightly, 
wiped dr}^ and allowed to "rest" for a night before being put on 
again. Italian strings are best (and dearest), as they are mostly 
made and dried in the open air. German strings, partly made 
and dried in the open air, come next; and English strings, made 
and dried entirely within doors, come last. Of Italian strings 
those made at Isaples arc considered best, those at Rome next, 


and tliose at Padxia tliinl best. I always get mv first strings 
(rougli Neapolitans, iSs. 6il. per biuuUe of .'30 j, fntni I\lr. Edwin 
Race, St. Jolin's, Isle of Man. Tliey are generally good, and 
certainly cheap. For Seconds and 'iliirds I find none better 
than those sold by Mr. 1). L. Thompson, 134 Nethergate, 
Dundee, 6d. each (two lengtlis). The same dealer sells 
particularly soft-toned silver Fourths, at Is. Gd. each. A 
more brilliant toned Fourth, of Florence silver, with silk 
between the gut and the wire, may be had of Mr. Ed. Withers, 
Wardour Street, London, price Is. 9d. 

Every v'llin player should keep a string gauge carefully 
marked at the exact bpots for the sizes of the strings he uses, 
and use it constantly in selecting strnigs, as tnc eye is easily 
deceived. This applies more particularly to the second, third, 
and fourth strings, which must be gauged so as to give perfect 
fifths at any part of the strings. Sometimes a string, which is 
out of balance with the rest, may be put right by being reversed. 
The third and fourth are the most difficult to be got to agree 
perfectly in fingering. 

In sending to a distance for sti'ings, with a specimen size, it 
should be borne in mind that a string gets slightly thinner by 
being strained on the violin for months. This stretching and 
thinning often make a string so much out of balance with its 
fellows, that is, make the fingering get so much closer on the 
first position, that true fifths arc impossible, and the string has 
to be taken ofiF. This is particularly the case with the third 
and the second strings. The fourth does not alter much, and 
the first seldom lasts long enough to be severely tried in this 
particular. The third is almost certain to get out of balance 
with the fourth before it is worn done. Reversing the string 
might remedy the evil, but a string which has been fingered 
has always a rusty tone when reversed. The only alternative, 
then, is to change the string, as it is difficult to finger one string 
flatter than its fellows, particularly in jjlaying chords ; and iu 
playing fifths, where but one finger can be used, it is absolutely 

Mr Thompson's strings cannot be called cheap, but the}' are 
exceptionally fine in tone ; and as the second, third, and fourth 
strings do not need to be renewed so often as the first, the 
difference in the price is trifling in the long run. " Tested 
strings " may be bought in sets from the principal London 
dealers. They are very dear (Is. 6d. each, I think), but are 
wan-anted to play perfect fifths — that is, the iingering is 


warranted to be the same on every string. They are also 
■warranted durable, but the one given nie to test did not stand 
well. The string which is absolutely reliable has yet to be 
discovered, and a fine string often goes quickest. A " screamer," 
or one which plays fldse, generally lasts intolerably long. The 
.tone of these tested strings is exceptionally clear, pure, and 
fine, and it ought to be, at the price. Tested strings are 
polished, and polishing a string must always wear down some of 
the strands, and so weaken the string. However, each player 
must consult his own liking and his own purse. The majority 
of professional players prefer the rough or unpolished string for 
the first. Tt is thought to be truer, to bite better, and to have 
more life in it, which means more than mere durability. When 
wanted for a solo, however, the rough string should be put on a 
day or two before, and ground down a little by jDractice. This 
also prevents the annoyance of the string sinking much during 
the performance, and is preferable to putting on a new string 
on the day on which it is to be used, and tugging all the 
stretch out of it. Tugging thus at a new string pulls a good 
deal of the tone out of it. A string which has not been tugged, 
but simply kept up to pitch and played upon for days, till it 
seems almost worn through, will often last through a whole 
night's hard playing better than a new string put on specially 
for the concert. Thus the strings of amateurs, though pro- 
bably the best that can be had, and put on only an hour before 
the concert, go snap, snapping all tlie evening, while the pro- 
fessional player looks on with a smile. He has prepared his 
string days before, or let the old one take its chance, after a 
careful inspection and calculation. He is cooler too, of course, 
and goes to his fiddling as tinconcernedly as the amateur goes 
to his workshop or his desk, and that coolness saves the string 
a little. He knows where to buy his strings too, and knows 
exactly what the strings he always uses will do, and never asks 
them to do more. In nearly every town, there are to be found 
stationers' or ironmongers' shops in which violin strings are 
sold. The owners of these shops know nothing about strings, 
but buy them as they would buy drugs, or tea, or anything out 
of their line. In such places the strings are often put into the 
window or a glass case to tempt buyers, as a grocer would dis- 
play sugar, till all the soul is sunned out of them. When that 
has been accomplished, and the strings are plainly shouting out 
" I'm dead ! I'm rotten ! don't buy me !" they may be bright- 
ened up with a dose of oil, and put back into the box to bo 


palmed upon the first buyer. No one of experience would 
buy strings from such places. It is worse than throwing 
money away. The dealer from whom you buy your strings, 
whether he be a string importer, a musioseller, or a stationer, 
ought to have (lirst and most important) a great sale, (second) 
he ought to know where to get good strings, and (third) he 
ought to know how to keep the strings while they are in his 
possession. Strings will keep good for a whole year, and even 
improve in tone and durability, if kept in a closely shut tin 
box, in a cool dry place, excluded from sun and air, with no 
grease or oil on the paper which covers them. 

For a month or two after being made, violin strings are 
somewhat raw, and do not last well. After being kept as 
described above for a time they harden and firm, and are 
better in tone and more durable. In nearly every large town 
there is at least one musicseller or dealer who keeps good 
strings, and it is best to find out one of these, and send to him 
always. Many send to London for their strings, but there is 
often nothing great about the strings but the price. If 
cheapness be not an object, however, the player who prefers 
to deal with a London house should always buy from a firm 
of established repute, such as Edward Withers, or Hart, or 
Hill tfe Sons, all of Wardour Street, who make a specialty of 
high-class violin strings, and sell such quantities that the 
strings may reasonably be expected to be both good and 

1\\e Points of a Good String. 

To sum up, a good string is to be known (1) by its appear- 
ance and hue, (2) by its spring when the coils are set free, (3) 
by its feel in the fingers (if too soft and limp it will not be 
durable, if too dry and hard it will be a " screamer "), and (4) 
by its not showing decay, and the windings of the strands. 
Sometimes strings have a suspicious look, and turn out good ; 
but it is more common to find them look well and turn out 
bad. A finer tone is always to be got out of strings selected 
rather thin than thick. Some of the old violins of high build 
must have the thinnest strings that can be got, or they will 
sound "tubby." The tone is also clearer, and less inclined to 
huskiness than with thick strings. Ly attending to these hints 
a player may soon know a good string, and will be able to tell 


almost exactly the kind of tone it will produce when put ou 
the violin. 

The Fourth String. 

The back strings last so long that it is not necessary or 
advisable to keep many of them by you. Keep by you any 
old or common Fourth string, in case of a sudden breakage. 
The Fourth you use should always be as fresh as possible 
when put on, as this string is apt to shrink in its metal 
covering, and rattle disagreeably. A rattling Fourth may 
sometimes be cured by taking it off the violin and letting it 
rest for a few weeks. When put on again the rattle is gone. 
There are great varieties of silver-covered Fourths, some quite 
as coarse in tone as any twopenny copper one ; others ringing 
and "gritty"; others smooth and soft. Some violins sound 
best with a copper Fourth ; others with a soft-toned silver 
one; others with a brilliant-toned silver one. Some players 
do not like a Fourth string without a certain amount of 
" grit " in it, and always make the gi-it heard when they play 
upon that string. I shall notice this more particularly in 
the chapter on "Tone — Forced and Developed." My own 
idea is that there should be as little difference as possible in 
the tone when running on to the Fourth string. The Fourth 
certainly difl'ers in character from the others, and for that 
reason has whole passages and pieces specially arranged for 
it, but that has nothing to do with "grit." My meaning is, 
that when a passage is played upon both third and fourth 
strings — such as the Adagio in De Beriot's Fifth Air — the 
tone on the Fourth string should be as soft and smooth and 
sweet as on any part of the third, and that while performing 
such a passage it is defective art to allow any appreciable 
difference to strike the ear. Even with a soft-toned Fourth, 
the pressure must be diminished, or the bow taken further 
from the bridge, to accomplish that result. To jar, or rasp, 
or " bite," on the Fourth string at any time is vile, and quite 
unpardonable with any string. The Fourth string being 
more difficult to get into vibration, should be coaxed and 
wheedled and caressed, not torn at tooth and nail. Most 
especially with this string should the bow be so handled that 
the violin " shall seem to breathe the first tone it gives." 
(See The Violin: How to Master it, page 48.) And should one 


60 practise :.s to not bo able to play a gritty s/br.-coa/o note? 
Well, any one can do that. Pat a violin into the hands of a 
perfect novice, and he will play such a note, with no practice 
or training at all. It is easily done — only too easily — the 
difficulty is not to do it. Many solo players, otherwise excellent, 
attack the fourth string as if they had a long standing grudge 
against it, raid were eager for revenge. It is like saluting one's 
lady love a\ ith a blow instead of a gentle kiss. 

Preparing- Strings for Solo Playing. 

When about to play a solo, should you be forced to put on 
new strings, or wish to do so for the fresh and fine tone, l)lay 
upon thoni diligently for three or four daj's, so as to wear the 
round face of the string somewhat flat. Tliis wearing and 
smoothing must be carried right up to the bridge, so that even 
at that part no scratchy note may suddenly mar the beauty 
of the tone. The close shake is always got stronger b}^ playing 
Avith the hair of the bow brought near the bridge, and there are 
other reasons for having that part of the string prepared, to 
which I shall allude in the chapter on "Tone — Forced and De- 
veloped ;" but here it may be alHrmed that the fullest and finest 
tone is never got out of the violin until the strings are thus worn 
flat in the face. Even the metal-covered fourth, though it can- 
not be flattened much in the face, is improved by being played 
upon from the top of the finger-board close up to the bridge. 

In stringing the violin gi-eat difficulty is sometimes experi 
enced in getting hold of 
the end of the second 
string after it is passed 
through the hole in the 
peg, on account of that 
peg being so fixr in be- 
neath the scroll of the 
violin. At page 34 of 
The Violin: How to 
Master it, I have given 

the best method of getting over the difficulty unaided ; but 
Avith some violins this will fail, and players thus troubled 
frequently are forced to keep a loop of gut constantly attached 
to that peg, which is untidy and apt to break. The new "A" 
string catcher, brought out bj' jMcssrs Lafleur k, Son, 15 Green 
Street, Leicester Square, London, the engraving of which is here 



given, Avill relieye tlie violin player of all anxiety on that 
account. The contrivance is of polished steel, and somewhftt 
I'esembles a pair of neat pocket scissors wedded to a pair of 
pliers. The serrated teeth fit into each other closely to the very 
point, and give a sure grip. The price is Is. 8d., post free. 

Fine Rosin for Solo Playing. 

In the appendix to The Violin : Hoio to Master if, there will 
be found an excellent recipe for fine rosin. In preparing violin 
rosin, however, great care is necessary, as the slightest over- 
heating of the mixture in melting will render the rosin hard 
and brittle. Hard rosin gives a harsh tone, and flies too soon 
from the hair. It is also apt to collect at the side of the 
strings, and under a heavy pressure of the bow give a grating 
tone almost unbearable, the only remedy being to scrape ott 
the accumulation with the back of a penlvuife. Rosin too soft, 
gets greasy and sticky ; and there are some localities near the 
sea, where the air is heavily impregnated with saline particles, 
which are a perfect distraction to the violin player, from the 
manner in which they render the best of rosin stick}' and i;se- 
less. It follows, therefore, that the same rosin will neither suit 
every player nor every place. For fine playing, the nearest 
approach to that of which I have given the recipe are the 
cakes prepared by Gand and Bernard el, Paris, price 6d., and 
by Otto Schuster, which are wrapped in red leather, inside the 
box, price 6d. The latter is just crisp enough, and is therefore 
best suited for orchestral playing. So sensitive is this material 
that no two cakes are ever alike, and it might be necessary to 
go over a dozen, even by the same maker, before one of the 
desired degree of fineness be discovered. A number of attempts 
have lately been made to put up violin rosin in a handy and 
cleanly form for use, such as placing the rosin on a metal 
bobbin, with high edges to prevent the hair slipping over 
during the application, or like the "Acme," within the 
boards of a miniature china book ; but unluckily the ingenuity 
of the inventors seems to be entirely expended upon the case 
or holder of the rosin, whereas it is the compounding of 
the rosin itself which should call for the most j^i'^^found 
study. The price of all these prepared boxes is out of all 
proportion to the cost, and to charge Is. or Is. 6d. for a 
small square of rosin, which costs about the twentieth of a 
penny, seems to me simply i-obbery in disguise. For a few pence 


enough rosin to last a lifetime may be prepared, by the rccipo 
I have given, care being taken not to overheat the mixture. 

Improved Violin Mute. 

The use of the mute is to be deprecated in all but those 
orchestral works in which the sourdine effect is demanded. 
Every violin player, however, must have a mute, and he may as 
well have the best that has been designed — that made by Messrs 
Wm. E. Hill »& Sons, "Wardour Street, London. This invention 
is neatly made of vulcanite, and its recommendations are that 
it can be put on noisclessl}' ; does not mark the bridge ; never 
gives the burring or nasal sound peculiar to all other mutes 
under a sti'ong pressure of the bow, and altogether gives a more 
legitimate, or violin like, tone, than the old metal mute. The 
price is Is. 


Adjusting the Violin. 

Most of the rare old violins are like the more gifted of 
mankind — sensitive, "cranky," irritable. They take offence 
easily; get out of order without any apparent cause; rebel 
altogether at times. One will refuse to except any change of 
bridge or alteration of sound-post, and will stick to the point 
till it conquers. Others, particularly the Guarnerius, will resent 
neglect by becoming hoarse- voiced, and will only allow the 
resentment and malady to thaw under diligent practice. Even 
with every attention, and with no important alteration in the 
adjustment, they will at times take a fit of the dumps, and 
scarcely allow themselves to be coaxed back into good humour. 
Very often they will resent even the putting on of a new 
string, and become reconciled only after a day or two's hard 
playing. The best cure for these fits is to take no notice of 
them — play away as usual, and let the freak evaporate. The 
plaj'er should always be master, and make the master^'- felt. 
Very often a trifling alteration in the adjustment is all that is 
wanted to effect a marvellous cure. Skill in adjusting a violin 
only comes after many years to the violin player. The chief 
requisites are a sharp ear, patience, and a certain neat-handed- 


ncss wliicli is inborn with many. Many experiments in 
adjusting a violin should not be made at a time, as the eai- 
becomes tired, and less sensible to the changes effected in the 
tone. Adjustment so far as the violin player is concerned, is 
limited to tlu-ce things — the bridge, the sound-post, and the 
strings; but by the aid of a violin maker it may be extended 
to otlicr three — the bass-bar, the re-setting of the neck and 
finger-board, and lining, or Avhat C'larles Picade calls "sand- 
wiching," the thin or worn portions of the back or breast. We 
may notice these in the order given above. 

The Bridge. 

No rule can be given for tlic shape or thickness of the 
bridge. Experiment alone can decide for the player vhat 
kind of bridge suits his violin and suits him. Some bridges 
are made with the feet thick and wide apart, others with the 
feet small and closer together. The general rule as to the 
width of the feet is that it is governed by the position of the 
sound-post and bass-bar, the back edge of the centre of the 
right foot of the bridge to be immediately in front of the front 
edge of the sound-post; and the left foot to be immediately 
above the centre of the bass-bar. The feet of the bridge 
should always be sloped, and fitted to the bulge on the breast 
of the violin, as carefully as the ends of the sound-post are 
fitted to the slopes of breast and back inside. In many old 
violins the breast is indented forward in the direction of the 
pull of the strings through the carelessness of former owners in 
not keeping the bridge perpendicular. In such a case, if a 
straight-footed bridge were put on just as it came from the 
maker, it would always tend to hang forward. The feet must 
be sloped to fit the indentation, by being ground down behind 
Avith a file. They must be adjusted to the bulge on the breast 
a^so, so as to press on the breast equally with every part of 
the feet while standing perpendicular, llough or unpolished 
strings tend to pull the bridge forward, and it is advisable to 
hold the top of the bridge back witli the left hand while 
screwing up a new rough string for the first time. It saves 
trouble and prevents accidents. A violin which is hard in tone 
ought to have a bridge of soft wood, and rather thin than thick, 
and a sound-post of soft pine. A violin which is soft in tone 
may be made more brilliant by putting on a bridge of hard 


wood, and inserting a sound-post of hard i)ino. If one string 
or two strings be thick and unwieldy in tune, tlie defect may 
be removed or modified by thinning the bridge at that side 
with a file or emery paper. If the build of the violin be high, 
and more especially if the breast and back are rounded 
outwards, towards the edges instead of hollow, the tone will 
probably be hard, but may be clear and penetrating by way 
of compensation. This hardness may be modified by refitting 
the violin with a deep bass-bar of soft pine, and by stringing 
with thin strings. No violin which is hard in the tone will 
endure thick strings. A violin which is what is called, 
"tubby" in tone — that is, deep and hollow in tone as well as 
hard — may often be entirely cured by stringing it with thiii 
strings, keeping the sound-post well back from the bridge, 
and putting on a thin bridge and a new and deeper bass-bar of 
soft pine. Thus treated, the former dreadful qualities are 
changed into actual beauties; the loud loose tone is compressed 
into a clear brilliant one, which carries well, and responds 
instantly. It is a trick quite unworthy a genuine violin 
player to put on a string thick in proportion to the others, to 
give more tone to a string weaker than its fellows, for by so 
doing the balance of the strings is upset, and purt cords, 
octaves and fifths, arc an impossibility, as the fingering • tf that 
string is different from that on the others. So also is the 
trick of leaving the bridge slightly higher at a string which 
is weaker in tone than its fellows. These tricks are regu- 
larly practised by dealers in high-priced instruments, to con- 
ceal their weak points, and are seldom detected luitil the 
instniment is bought and more closely tested. The bridge 
sliould be carefully rounded to the lie of the finger-board, 
leaving it rather lower at the first string. This may be tested 
by putting on the bridge before it is finally smoothed off, and 
looking along the finger-board from the scroll end. When the 
proper shape and fit of feet and top are got, the top is to be 
smoothed off with fine emery paper, being left rather round 
than sharp. Four very slight indentations may then be made 
at the proper place for each string by rubbing the back of a 
knife across the edge of the bridge. The pressure of the 
strings will soon deepen and harden these ; notches with a 
knife are not so good. The first and second strings 
are gener-ally kept rather closer to each other than tho 


The Sound-Post. 

The same rule may be followed with the sound-post as the 
bridge. If the tone of the violin be hard, let the sound-post 
be of soft pine, not too thick, and not streaky — that is, not 
having veins or layers of resin running through it. If the 
tone be too soft, let the sound-post be of hard pine and streaky. 
Old wood is best, but the same rule holds good, however old the 
wood. I had a sound-post sent me from Russia, which was made 
out of part of a pine table at least 200 years old. I eagerly 
hastened to insert it in my violin, but found the tone too hard, 
and had to take it out and restore the old one. Hardness of 
tone may also be modified by keeping the sound-post a little back 
from the foot of the bridge — say a quarter of an inch behind. 

Inequality of tone may be modified, and sometimes entirely 
cured, by altering the position of the sound-post thus : — If the 
first and second strings be weak, bring the sound-post nearer 
the / hole at that side ; if the third and foiirth strings be weak, 
let the post be placed nearer the bass-bar. If the tone be 
wished louder all over, bring the sound-post more directly 
vmder the right foot of the bridge — say with its fi'ont edge a 
sixtet'ath of an inch under the back edge of the foot. This 
will give more tone, but the qiiality will not be so good. 
Pusl ing the sound-post nearer the bass-bar often necessitates 
the )Qaking of a new post a slight degree longer, as the distance 
is increased between back and breast. Bringing it nearer the 
right/ hole, in like manner often necessitates the shortening of 
the post, so that the post may not fit too tightly or bulge the 
breast of the violin. The post should just fit easily, top and 
bottom, without the pressure of the strings. If it be too tight, 
the tone is never so good, especially if the violin be old and 
fine ; if it be too slack, the least jerk will bring it down, and 
endless trouble will follow. 

As already noticed in The Violin : How to Master it, the ends 
of the post must be very carefully sloped to fit the bulge of 
back and breast, and in adjusting these it is sometimes neces- 
saiy to take out the tail-piece peg at the head of the violin, and 
look into the violin in a strong light, to see that these ends fit 
closely all over their end surfaces, and also to ascertain if the 
post stands perfectly perpendicular. 

The sound-post is the most irritating, cranky, delightful, 
■tormenting little demon in the whole violin. Sometimes the 


right spot for it may be hit upon in a moment, as by inspiration; 
at others houi-s of sweating and excitement, patient toil, and 
agonising suspense have to be expended before the desired 
result is attained. In testing and adjusting, the post may bo 
moved back or forward without slackening the strings, by 
tapping it gently, top and bottom, with the handle of a table- 
spoon, or drawn to right or left with the hooked end of the 
sound-post setter. How to make a siniple sound-post setter, I 
have already described at p. 32 of The Violin : IIuiv to blaster 
it. The sound-post is sometimes set with the grain crossing 
that of the breast of the violin, lest the one should indent the 
other ; but that, I think, is putting too fine a point on adjust- 
ment. When the right spot is discovered, it sliould be marked 
by drawing a pen or pencil round the end of the sound-post 
touching tlic back of the violin. That precaution makes the 
readjustment, in case of an accident, an easy matter. 

The Bass-Bar. • 

In the adjustment of an old violin to the modem require- 
ments of raised concert pitch and high shifting, the bass-bar 
plays an important part ; but on this point, as. a mere player 
and not maker of the violin, I have little to &-ay. All the old 
Italian and other violins by makers of celebrity have had new 
bass-bars inserted. The amateur violin maker generally has a 
craze, and that craze is often in connection with the shape or 
size, or thickness or length, or position of the bass-bar. These 
monomaniacs ought to be kept at arms' length. I met one 
once, who declared that he could make any violin superior in 
tone by placing the bass-bar so as to run from the usual place 
at the left foot of the bridge across to the opposite corner, so 
as to pass under the finger-board. Another I have heard of, 
who shapes the bass-bar like a crescent moon ; and othei"s, who 
hint darkly at some mysterious sj'stem or method which they 
have discovered, and practise, but which they refuse to speak 
of or reveal. As imagination flourishes as strongly among 
violin players as among the patrons of quack medicines, these 
men have generally numerous testimonials certifying the 
perfect success of tlieir labours. They are generally chock-full 
of theories as to sound waves, tones, centres of vil)ration, ic. ; 
but in violin making an ounce of practical skill is worth a ton 
of theory. The best professional makers and repairers of 
violins have now fixed rules upon which they work in the 


adjustment of bass-bars to particular models of the violin ; and 
if the violin be a valuable one, it is always safest to entrust the 
insertion of a new bass-bar to one of these, rather than to an 
amateur, full of brand new theories. If the violin be not a 
valuable one — that is, if it be poor and coarse in tone — all the 
cranky bass-bars in the world will never make it other than 
the wretched thing it is. 

Tha Neck and Finger-Board. 

Accompanying the insertion of a new bass-bar in a really 
valuable old violin there is generally the setting back of the 
neck to increase the pressure on the breast and allow of the 
high positions being more easily commanded by the left hand. 
This is generally done by the insertion of a new neck neatly 
joined to the old scroll. No really skilled violin maker would 
dream of any other method ; but I have been told of a violin 
maker in Aberdeen who adopted the brutal expedient of sawing 
a slit in the neck, sloping downwards from that part under the 
finger-boai'd at which it is joined to the body of the violin, and 
then when the cut was deep enough, hammering in a wedge of 
wood covered with glue, which he then dressed oft'and varnished. 
That man must have descended from the Goths and Vandals. 
It must have been a relation or ancestor of this maker who 
discovered the cheap expedient of raising the finger-board by 
inserting \inder it a thin wedge of wood, without setting back 
the neck at all. This allows the use of a higher bridge, which 
always gives more tone, though at the expense of the quality ; 
but it increases the difficulty of commanding the high positions. 
It also makes the violin more heavy upon strings. 


But of all barbarous expedients in the renovating of old 
violins, none is worse than that of sandwiching. Very often in 
hearing a genuine Cremona pla3'ed upon, while admiring the 
rich quality of the tone, a suspicion creeps upon the listener 
which he seldom dares to express. On a particular string — or 
possibly on more than one — the tone seems a little husky, as 
if a hair were fizzing against the string or along with it. It is 
but seldom that the prejudiced owner will admit the existence 
of the defect. " It is all imagination," he will declare, or the 
critic is " finically acute." But if the existence of the huski- 


ncss be admitted, and traced to its source, in the majority of 
cases the cause will be found to be "sandwiching " ; that is, the 
strengthening or thickening of the breast or back of the violin 
by gluing on a thin layer of wood inside. I am willing to believe 
in many cases it was sandwiching or no violin — that the in- 
strument was so broken or worn, or had been so ignorantly 
scraped or thinned, that without the layer of Avood it woidd 
have been simply a curiosity for a glass case, and for ever laid 
aside from use : but I am as certain that many violins have 
been so treated which would have been far better without it. 
Very often a few cracks make a breast or back look to the 
repairer ominously weak and near the sound-post. Glue, ho 
thinks, will scarcely stand the pressure ; and lo ! to make sure, 
he claps on a broad patch of wood smoothly over all, very often 
— oh, the wretch ! — scooping out a nicely titting hollow for the 
new wood in the old breast. The thing is done, and done for 
ever. Ko tears of the owner, or protests or regrets, will ever 
undo that clever "restoration." The violin is stronger 
certainly ; but the tone ! — it is like a fine voice after an attack 
of diphtheria— probably husky for ever. Now, in a case like 
this, I should sa}' to the repairer, have every faith in the power 
of glue alone. If properly applied, and the finest that can be 
had, it will often hold more firmly than the fibres of the wood, 
so that we frequently see a new crack made by an accident, 
close to an old glued one which has not yielded. Then, if it 
positively will not stand, let the cracks be boiind across with 
tiny straps of wood rather than a wholesale sandwich. This 
will give at least a portion of the injured wood liberty to vibrate 
freely, and the huskincss will be all but imperceptible. About 
fifty years ago some clever fellow, upon whose grave the 
" cursory remarks " of connoisseurs and violin plaj-ers now rest 
somewhat heavily, announced that the breasts of the old violins 
were too thick of wood, and were mightily improved in 
resonance by being scraped thin. Many owners of the real 
gems caught the craze, and their violins were thinned down and 
for ever injured. A violin scraped down thus certainly vibrates 
more easily, but the tone is hollow and spurious, and does not 
carry well ; besides which, the violin deteriorates steadily, in- 
stead of improving. Most of these spoiled instruments have 
been sandwiched, but of course the tone will never be compar- 
able with that of violins not so injured and repaired, — it merely 
shows the remains of beauty once admired, and is good for 
nothing but to extract tears of regret and " cursory remarks." 



The Pegs. 

Tlii!-(>, i.s a great dilTcrcnco iu the attitudes liore shown — the 
one i.s clumsy and vulgar, tlio oilier graceful and easy. The 
one shows the playcn- tuning without having the strings pro- 
perly adjusted on tlio pegs, the other with tlie pegs so locked 
with till! strings that tliey never slip, and that all four may 
bo tuned witliout lateral pressure. The method I liave 
already explained at page 33 of The Violi/i: How to Masler it 
(price Is. J<](linburgli : M(!ssrs. E. Kohler <fe Son, 11 North 
IJridgi!). Very lino pegs of dark brown rosewood, which 
■work very smoothly, and aro deli;;htfully comfortable to the 
fingers, may be had of Messrs. Jlill &, Sons, 38 New Bond 
Street, London, ])ric(; 2s. pcT set. Next to these aro pegs of 
boxwood, dyed black, which work well ami do not split like 
those of ebony. The hole in the peg should never lie much 
over J of an inch from the side of tlio box or it will not 
lock easily with the string. When it has worked in much 
over that distance a new hole must be drilled in the peg. 
A i>eg which sticks in its socket may be made to work 
smoothly by aj^iplying a mixture of chalk and black lead. 


Jerking of the pegs is caused by the socket of the peg, or tho 
peg itself, not fitting sinootiily all round. The rcnieily is to 
smooth out the socket with lino emery paj)er glued round au 
old peg, and then work in a new peg witli black lead till both 
peg and socket at tho parts in contact show a surface glossy 
and smooth as glass all round. A little attention and patieuco 
in this matter will save years of irritation. 

The Peg Tarner. 

A peg will at times get so locked in its socket that tho 
strongest fingers cannot move it back or forward without tho 
help of a pair of pliers. This usually arises from carelessness 
in studying to allow only as many coils of the string to circle 
the peg inside the box as to lock it conveniently lirm. A very 
ingenious and neat contrivance has been invented by Mr 
George Withers, 51 St Martin's Lane, London, an engraving of 
which is given below. 

The invention somewhat rcsendjh s a viu]oncello peg, but has 
a hollow in the broad head, 
lined with soft leather, wliicii 
admits the whole of the head 
of tho violin peg, which with 
the extra leverage thus lent 
can be easily moved, however 
tightly locked. Children and 
lady players with Aveak fingers 
will find this peg turner a great boon. The invention, wliich 
costs 2s., is made of ebony, with a strong ierule of brass round 
the head, :.nd may be had of any musicseller, or direct from 
the inventor. 


Violins, Old and New. 

But man's life is too short to be all spent in adjusting a 
violin. Take out youh Violin and play it. A strange advice 
that may appear, but it is well worth being put in cajjitals. 
There are many who fondly imagine that they can acipiire tho 
requisite tone l)y otlier means than hard work and persistent 
practice. One of these is 


The Adjuster. 

Tho adjusting craze I can best describe by recalling an 
amiable and earnest amateur of my acquaintance. He had the 
fortune to possess a modern violin made by a Frenchman named 
Derazy, It was a pretty-looking instrument, of a bright 
orange colour, shading off into a kind of pink. The tone on 
the first and second strings was good, though small, hai'd, and 
clear ; that of the third was poor and shallow ; the fourth 
hard and wiry. The market value of the violin was about 
£3, 10s., but to its owner it was priceless — the best in the 
world. He did not simply love that violin, he worshipped it. A 
scratch on its clear surface, I am convinced, would have caused 
him more agony than a real scratch on his own skin ; and had 
any mishap befallen the violin — had its ribs been staved in or 
the whole instrument been burned up bodily— I tremble for the 
consequences to the owner. Yet his playing seldom amounted 
to more than trifling with the violin. He was never quite 
satisfied with the tone, and would spend hours upon hours in 
adjusting and readjusting. Six hours at a time was no lui- 
common stretch for him to closely engage in this task, and this 
went on, not for weeks, but always. Bridges — he tried evei-y 
kind; had whole boxes of them — soft, hard, broad, narrow, high, 
low, round and flat, thin, thick, seasoned and unseasoned — 
fitted in every way, and with all their merits and demerits 
written upon them in shorthand. Sound-posts — he had tried 
every kind, and every adjustable spot in the violin. Strings — 
he tried all kinds, and never had one on long enough to wear 
it throiigh, or even flat on the face. He had not time to play 
the strings through. He wanted to get by mechanism at the 
tone which could only come by hard playing. One morning, 
when he told me of having sat for six hours on end and far into 
the night adjusting his violin, I could not help saying, " Ah, 
if you had but spent all the hours which you have for so 
many years devoted to adjusting your violin in good hard 
practice, what a grand player you would now have been ! The 
tone which you are vainly seeking in the violin, you would long 
since have found in your own fingers. You want the violin to 
do the work instead of you." On another occasion, when I 
noticed that his strings were always i-ound in the face as if 
little played on, he asked, what would be the advantage of 
havincr the strino; worn flat with the friction of the bow ] and 


being told that the tone was fuller and better, as more surface 
was presented to the hair of the bow, he eagerh- juuii)cd at the 
idea by saying, " Tlien perhaps I had better rub down the fiico 
of the strings with sand-paper !" Mechanism — adjusting — any- 
thing but i)laying. Of course, I gave him u]) in desjiair. No 
violin is worthy so much attention and time in adjusting, and 
still less a new violin. Do not let the adjusting craze take 
possession of you. Take out vour Violin and play it. If 
after a reasonable expenditure of time and pains in adjusting 
the bridge, sound-post, and strings, you still cannot rest with 
your violin, get rid of it — sell it— exchange it — be done with it. 
As the editor once advised, in regard to a horse which took fits, 
*' Take him at some time when he has not got a fit, and sell 
him to a stranger." Perfection in violins, as in wives, is a 
thing unknown, and what appears to you a fault may altogether 
escape the notice of another, or may appear an actual beauty. 
Speaking once to a dealer in strings, who got all sizes, thin, 
thick, and medium, I learned that he always sold out every box 
of them — those which did not suit one player, were eagerly 
bought by another. It is the same with violins. Have no 
compunction then about selling your violin. " Oh, I could not 
part with it," I fancy I hear some one say, as he clasps his 
beloved and faulty violin to his heart. Nonsense ! You will 
have to part with it soon : there is nothing more certain than 
that. Your violin will scon be in the hands of another, wlio 
will play upon it, and string it, and praise and abuse it, and 
coolly speak of it as " My violin." Death soon settles these 
absurd notions ; you have only a loan of it at best for a little 
while. You may as Avell, therefore, make a virtue of a necessity, 
and part Avith it now, and get another more suited to your taste 
and requirements. Get as much happiness and as little 
irritation as possible out of the violin. That is its mission. 

If you cannot part with your violin, and find, nevertheless, 
that it is weak or poor on certain strings, be content to let it 
remain so. Take the tone as you find it, and rather have it 
weak and pure than thick and thready. Rather bear the ills 
\o\\ have than fly to others that you know not of And let 
this fact console you — the ears of ordinary listeners are not 
trained to distinguish the niceties of tone as are those of a 
violin player ; and a solo played upon a common German fiddle 
will often please as well as if it had been played upon a £700 
Strad. It all depends upon the player. If lie hns full command 
of all the gi'aces and arts of a good solo player, and is familinr 


"with the instrument upon which he is playing, the audience 
will think only of the player and his power. The violin will 
be as good to them as the best Cremona ever made. 

Frauds for the Experienced. 
There is scarcely a violin in existence which has not faults 
of some kind, and I am not exaggerating when I say that there 
are at present hundreds of genuine old Italian violins selling at 
from £40 to £200 each, which are not, so far as the tone is con- 
cerned, woi'th £5 each. It is high time that these rusty old 
fossils sank to their real value, and that violin players above 
all ceased to sigh for their possession. It will be a boon to 
the world when they crumble into dust. In selling these 
instruments it is not a question of tone at all. It is the 
"market value" that rules the price. In plainer words, "the 
rare old violin" is worth whatever you can get for it. Not one 
old violin in every fifty sold as genuine Cremonas, with written 
guarantees by so-called experts, is a Cremona. Many are old 
copies, good in themselves, and now nearly equal to the real 
instraments; many ai'e by other Italian makers of inferior 
reputation, doctored, altered, and reticketed. Many of the 
violins of Stradivarius and Guarnerius, imdoubtedly genuine, 
have spurious tickets, that is as certain as that the instruments 
are genuine. These violins speak for themselves without the 
tickets, which were too valuable to be allowed to remain in 
them, and have gone into instruments by makers less run 
upon. Therefore, when a ticket is undoubtedly genuine, be 
very suspicious of the genuineness of the violin. Separating 
ticket and violin is creating two Cremonas out of one, turning 
£300 into £600. If the cheat can also separate breast and 
back, and apportion the ribs and neck among these, and mix 
up another old violin with them, he gets three Cremonas out of 
one. That has been done hundreds of times, and the frauds 
stare us in the face, and command high prices, gravely 
guaranteed by (highly paid) experts. Fashion rules in violins 
as in every other collecting craze, and the instruments of 
Antonius Stradivarivis and Guiseppe Guarnerius being most 
run upon, are fabricated on every hand out of those of con- 
temporary makers. A Guarnerws, therefore, at £80 would 
probably be dear, so far as tone is concerned, at £5. In the 
real instruments by these peerless makers the letters on the 
tickets are so coarsely executed, that it seems as if the stamp 
had been roughly engraved on wood; the spurious tickets are 


mostly printed from clean cut tyjic on dingy coloured ]ifipcr, 
though when a good paying fraud is being attemptc(l the 
cheat will even engrave a block to exactly imitate the original. 
The genuine Stainer tickets seem to have been Avritten, not 
printed; the spurious Stainer tickets are mostly printed from 
types. A giiarantce from a London expert costs at least a 
guinea, and is often not worth a farthing. The tone is the 
only tiling ■which cannot be imitated. . There is a maker at 
present in England who can imitate any instrument in 
appearance, but the tone of his Lvpots and Bcrf/onzis betraj-s 
the fraud to the practised ear — it is new, hard, and woody. 
But even these qualities may be softened somewliat by 
thinning down the wood of the breast immediately xinder the 
bridge. The tester looks only at the thickness shown at the 
ff holes, and never dreams of applying violin measuring 
callipers, even if such an instrument should be Avithin his 
reach. The tone of the instrument thus doctored will be 
clearer and more responsive, but the instrument will not 
improve biit deteriorate with time. About fifteen years ago a 
professional musician, bearing a name which used to be a spell 
to conjure by in regai'd to circuses, being located in Edinburgh, 
got a great number of tickets printed on paper of a pale brown 
colour, bearing the name of Panorma, and others of the makers 
less run upon, and stuck them into any violin he coidd get 
hold of cheaply, nev/ or old, and had them sold for good prices 
in auction rooms. Some of James Hardie's violins were thus 
doctored, and curiously enough Avould now be worth more 
bearing the maker's name than they brought then with the 
fraudulent ticket. The fomous case of Chanot and the " Carlo 
Bergonzi " violin must yet be fresh in the minds of readers. 

The most reliable experts and dealers in this country, 
beyond all doubt, are Messrs. Wm. E. Hill & Sons, 38 New 
Bond Street, Lomlon. An opinion on any violin may 
also be had, for a fee of five shillings, under the following 
conditions: — "As nf) personal interview^s can be arranged, 
all instruments submitted must be addressed, carraige paid, 
to Mr. J. M. Fleming, 29 Frampton Park Eoad, Ilackney, 
London, and be accompanied by a postal order for above 
sum ; and all cases or boxes must have inside the sender's 
name and address on a separate label, in a form suitable 
for attacLing to, or pasting on, the outside of the pa •kag(; 
for the return journey. No package will be received if it 
is not carriage paid. A stamped addressed envelope to be 


sent along with the postal order." Outside of those there are 
many gentlemen amateurs, such as the Rev. l\lr Hawies, quite 
as skilled, but whose services are only available through 
private friends and acquaintances ; were it otherwise, the corre- 
spondence and labour thrown upon them woidd be quite 
beyond the power of any human being. The sum or appli- 
cation of all this is — become your own expert. Look at, 
and closely study the peculiarities of make and varnish and 
tone of every old violin upon which you can lay your hands. 
When done yon will probably judge your violin more by the 
tone than by any other characteristic. With a genuine violin 
player the maker's name ought to weigh as nothing ; the tone 
alone ought to be his criterion of value and worth, and in 
judging that it is necessary to consider its mellowness, its 
body, its purity, its ready response to the bow, and its carrj'- 
ing powers. The high-priced violin miist be tested not only 
in the dealer's saloon, but at home, and in a large and heated 
hall, by both the intending buyer and an obliging friend, being 
diligently compared and contrasted against other violins, the 
powers of which are known to both. I am taking it for 
granted that for solo purposes the player would always 
prefer a good old violin to the best new one that can be pro- 
cured, though here and there new prophets have arisen who 
express a contrary opinion. There is in Germany a maker 
who asserts that he can make a violin or 'cello, with any 
desired quality of tone, equal to the best Cremona in existence. 
He also declares that he gets as high as £75 for a new violin, 
so constructed ; but the statements of makers as to the prices 
they receive must be accepted with great reserve. If this last 
statement be correct, it only proves that there are violin 
buyers in the world who have a great deal more money than 
wisdom. No A'iolin that ever was made is worth £75. As a 
rule violin makers are also poor judges of tone, and can seldom 
adjust their own instruments so as to get the best results, 
therefore they must be counted out altogether in an estimate 
of that quality. Counting the time, skill, and cost of material 
required to make a good violin, £20 is a high price for a new 
violin, and leaves a handsome margin of profit to the maker. 
Any amount above that sum paid for any violin is artificial, or 
acquired value, arising from the rarity of the instruments, the 
demand for their possession by collectors, or the mellowness 
imparted by their great ago. One need only take the best 
new violin that can be made into a large orchestra, to discover 


liow lamentably small and poor his tone snddenly becomes, 
compared with that of other players beside him using violins 
mellowed with age, and how the violin must be "torn at" to 
get even that small amount of tone. Any violin, however new, 
can be manipulated so as to sound well in a solo if tlic music 
performed be a slow piece. It is in playing rapid music, and 
more especially rapid chords, arpeggios or staccato runs, that 
the deficiencies of a new violin become glaringly apparent. It 
is hard work to get really fine music out of a new violin. Mr 
Heaps of Leeds, whose varnish I have noticed in the appendix 
of The Violin: lloiv to Master it, professes to have dis- 
covered "a new principle" in the construction of violins, which 
renders the violin free of "wolf notes," and the tone excep- 
tionally soft and fine, but he himself plays ujiou a very fine 
Amati, which was 90 years in the possession of one family. 
Mr Hardie, the Edinburgh violin maker, whom I have also 
noticed in that work, though making such excellent violins, 
played for many years iipon a very fine old Italian violin. 
These facts are significant. Mr Heaps exhibited a quartette 
of violins at the Great Exhibition 1851, which were universally 
admired, both for tone and workmanship, I have seen and 
tested one of his violins, made in 1866, from some excep- 
tionally fine violin wood shown at the Great Exhibition of 
1851, and bought by ^Mr Heaps at a high price. The violin 
feels light as a feather in the hand; the tone is rich, full, and 
equal ; and the instrument a hundred and fifty years hence will 
probably be a grand solo violin. I think it is not too much to 
say that better made new violins — except in the varnish, 
which will not compare with Dr Dickson's — are not in existence, 
as Mr Heaps, being a gentleman amateur and not making 
them to be sold, is not forced to work against time. Yet in 
a letter to me the maker says — "I do not think that the 
tone of my instruments is equal to that of old ones. Had 
I ever been vain enough to imagine such a thing, the Amati 
violin which I now possess would have taken the conceit out of 

A great deal of fuss has been made lately, chiefly through 
advertisements, about the violins manufactured by a French 
maker named Collin-Mezin, which are sold at from £7 to £12, 
according to the conscience of the dealer. Of course, they are 
advertised as made on "the new principle," that mysterious 
phrase which seems to convey a great dea^, but really means 


There is no new principle in violin-making ; and there is no 
departure from the best models of the chief Cremona makers 
which does not mean inferiority. These Collin-Mezin violins 
are as clean cut and as like one another as biscuits stamped 
out -with a mould. The varnish is of a dingy hue, and rather 
thin and watery-looking, giving the instruments a painted look. 
They are generally " roarers " in tone, and differ but slightly 
in quality, and to hear one tuned suddenly is enough to make 
any one with a sensitive car almost jump ott" his chair. Tastes 
differ ; but, for my own part, I should prefer to play upon a 
50s. German fiddle, carefully picked out of a dozen or two, to 
using the best of these Collin-Mezin violins that I have seen. 
There is another maker, German, named Lowendall, ■whose 
violins seem to me preferable. The varnish is made to imitate 
that of the old makers, and sometimes with very questionable 
taste a portrait of one of the celebrated violin players is painted 
in oil colour in the middle of the back ; but the tone is some- 
times good, and certainly more mellow and soft than that of 
the Collin-Mezin instruments. They sell at £5 plain, and 
£5, 5s. with the oil portrait on the back. 

If a new violin be wanted, however, there is no need to go 
to either Germany or France for one, much less to pay such a 
sum as £75. The ear of the young player is not very sensible 
to the finer qualities of tone ; and for him almost any in- 
strument, new or old, is good enough. When he has played 
for twenty years, he will probably be able not only to distin- 
guish and appreciate the difference, and to draw out the good 
qualities of an old violin, but to pay for one. 

There is a providence in all things. 


Frauds for the Inexperienced. 

I may now notice a class of frauds which can deceive only 
the most densely stupid and inexperienced, or worse, those who 
have a little of the cheat in their own nature. 

In many of the leading papers small advertisements may be 
regularly seen, modelled after the folloAving : — 


Violin for Sale. — IJieli Solo Tone, appears to be very old, after and 
labelled "Antonius Stradivarius, faciebat Creniona, A. D. 17'21." Splendid 
instrument, and in perfect preservation. Suit Young Ladj' or Professor. 
With good Bow, Case, and Sell'-Tutor, only 25s. Sent on ai)proval. 

To these are generally appended a private address, with " Mrs 
Something " for the leading bait, as if the seller Avero a poor, 
ignorant, and unjjrotected widow, whom it would be easy to 
cheat, and who can know nothing of the enormous value of the 
article she is willing to sell so cheaply. Sometimes the adver- 
tiser takes a higher tone, and invests more money in his adver- 
tisement, after the following style : — 

For immediate disposal, owing to death of my great-grandmother, a 
Grand Solo Violin. It is labelled after "Joseph Guarnerius [a long way]. 
Fecit Cremona, anno 1725." Hare handsome antique-looking orchestral 
instrument; thorough preservation, exquisite rich powerful tone; suitable 
for professional, with snakewood bow, resin, instruction book, and niag- 
uiiiceut brass-mounted lock-up case. Sacrilicc whole lot for 15s. 6d., 
carriage paid anywhere ; been valued at £4, 4s. Inspection invited, or 
write early and secure this genuine bargain. 

It is of small moment Avhat form the advertisement may 
take — the "bargain" is the same. The "lock-ujj case, resin, 
and instructor" might be thought, from the persistence with 
which they appear, to be enough to damn the whole thing, but 
no — the trade goes on as flourishingly as ever. The novice 
who sends his money to these dealers — if he get anything back 
at all — will probably receive in return a fiddle worth 3s. 6d., a 
case worth 4s;, and a bow worth Is. The fiddles are made by 
the gross, like penny pies, and the " rare antique " appearance 
seems to be done with white paint sputtered from the end of a 
well-filled brush, to take the place of the powdering of resin 
about the breast. One scarcely knows whether to pity the 
victim or pronounce him rightly served. It is as if one spider, 
wishing to trap a more simple sj)ider, were to draw over him 
the skin of a tender and juicj'-looking fly, and then place him- 
self temptingly in sight of the other, as much as to say — " Come 
and eat me." The simple spider thinks he is about to do a 
clever thing, accepts the "sacrifice," and gets eaten up; but 
observe, they are both spiders. The man who expects to get 
such a list of articles as that offered in the last specimen for 
15s. 6d. is nothing but a rogue in disguise, and can scarcely 
complain if he gets nothing for his money but some valuable 
experience. As for the other spider — the offerer of the bargain, . 
who can at will draw over him the skin of a poor ignorant 
widow, or of an experienced professional musician — he must 


often be so hard pressed by his wrathful customers, that to con- 
demn him here would be like trying to kick the life out of a 
dead donkey. He used to deal in pianos, ■with wretched works 
and sticky notes, which were always to be sacrificed at a fourth 
of their cost, as the owner was, like all of us, tremendously in 
want of money. He was always a widow then. Violins have 
come to the front now, however, and he has, like a sensible 
tradesman, gone with the times and turned his attention to 
them. Lately one of him advertised a fine old violin and 
silver-mounted bow for 7s. Gd. A friend of mine, wishing to 
make some experiments with the sound-post, thought this a 
good chance of getting a cheap violin, and sent the money. 
The fiddle was a common sixpenny one painted red, with bow 
to match ; and the letters of protest were, of course, never 
answered. A book might be filled with such examples; but 
there is a wonderful sameness about them all. 

If you wish to buy a cheap violin, go to the best dealer in 
your neighbourhood, who will generally give full value, and 
exchange the instrument for a better when your purse has 
grown heavier or your taste more exacting. If you will buy 
through an advertisement, insist on seeing and testing the 
violin before sending the money, or date the post office 
order ten days later, so that you may have time to recall. 
The Bazaar newspaper is an excellent medium for such 
transactions, and if the system of deposit adopted by the 
managers of that paper be followed it is almost impossible that 
the buyer can be robbed. That paper is also the best for 
advertisements of old violins, and any one in want of such 
instruments can almost certainly be suited by watching the 
sale column for a time, and bargaining according to the safe 
system above mentioned. The paper is jDublished weekly, 
price 2d., at 170 Strand, London. 

Frauds in Bows. 

Though the gain is smaller, the ingenuity of the cheat is as 
often exercised in frauds in bows as in violins. There is the small 
fraud of stamping cheap bows with any name — Vuillaume, 
Dodd, &c. — likely to make them sell well, and which 
deceives only the inexperienced; but there is also the care- 
fully planned and elaborate fraud for a higher stake, which is 
intended to deceive the expex't. The same lady friend who 


was deceived in the small matter of the 7s. 6d. painted fiddlo 
bought a bow from the widow of a clcr;_'ym:in for £b. The 
seller, in perfect innocence, declared her belief that the bow was 
a genuine I'ourte, a maker occupying the same place among 
bow makers that Stradivarius occupies among violin makers — 
that is, king of all. The bow bore a gold plate, on which was 
engraved "A de Llvoft", le 9 Mars 1841," and was richly 
mounted in gold, including the point. The plate indicated 
that the bow had once belonged to LlvofF, the composer of the 
Russian National Anthem and director of the Emperor 
Nicholas's private band. The buyer happened to be in the 
shop of a well-known firm of London experts in Wardour 
Street, some time after, and showed them the bow, which, after 
a rigid inspection, only excited a peculiar smile. Pressed 
hard, they declared that the bow had been pieced inider the 
leather, and that therefore the heel alone was Tourte's. 
Something induced her to suspect a well-known maker, whom 
she managed to see, and from his manner and answers, guessed 
that the piecing had been his work, and that his employer 
had been a Manchester dealer and expert whom I may name 
Mr Z. Following up the trail, the spirited owner took ]\Ian- 
Chester on her way home, and bearded the lion in his den. She 
thus describes the intei'view. " I introduced the bow, which 
as I removed it from its paper case, made me feel as though 
I were unsheathing the sword of justice. 'I think you know 
this bow, Mr Z. ? ' He flushed crimson, and then became pale, 
and stammered out, ' This is not a Tourte at all. I told the 
Rector's wife it was not worth £5.' His manner was most 
excited. I asked him if he was aware that it had been 
pieced. He said he was, but his discomfiture was so great 
that I had not the heart to proceed fui'tlier. I had satisfied 
myself that he — not the dealers in London — had sold the bow 

to the late Rector, and that Z had first taken the bow to 

H for the purpose of having it tampered with ; that H ■ 

promptly refusing to lend himself to the fraud, Z had 

engaged the skill of Blank, and had thus converted ono 
genuine Tourte into two false ones ! I siibsequently placed 
the bow in Chanot's hands for sale on commission, stating 
that only the lower end was Tourte's, belonged to Llvoff, <fcc. 
He sold it for £8. Shortly after I was told by au expert of a 
fine Tourte which he had been called upon to value, and 
Avhich bore an inscription * Llvoflf",' and was mounted in gold. 
The impostor again! I was informed afterwards that it was 


sold for £20. When in Liverpool lately I called upon the 
head of a firm of dealers, Avho expressed a regret tliat I had 
not called the week before, as a remarkable bow had passed 
through their hands, an original Toiirte, gold mounted, with 
an inscription to Llvoff, &c. My Towte once more ! He 
had sold it to a gentleman for £15, 15s. I wonder if I shall 
hear of it again?" Since receiving the above account I see 
that Mr Fleming has noticed the case in his excellent articles 
on Violin-Making published in the Bazaar. I have often 
wondered what were the thoughts and feelings of Blank, the 
Vandal, as he laid his fine toothed saw across the wood of 
that splendid wox'k of art to ruin it for ever. If he had 
known that he was to be so well spitted up to the hootings of 
the world for the outrage, I suspect the saw would have beeu 
thrown aside unused. 

Another species of fraud on the experienced, is that 
practised by a certain maker, who though his own name 
stands high enough, does not hesitate to stamp his bows Avith 
the names of Dodd, Panorma, d:c., partly oblitei'ating the 
letters to give the appearance of wear, and hand these to his 
agents for sale. A bow worth £2, thus fetches £3, 10s. 
or £4, though the hand of the maker is stamped on the 
work much more truthfully than the name at the heel, and 
every inch of the stick is shouting out "I am new! fresh 
from the workshop ! see, my vaniish is scarcely dry ! " The 
bow indeed may fetch a great deal more. All depends on 
the conscience of the dealer, and the simplicity of the buyer. 

Genuine old Dodd bows may be picked up by the dozen, 
but in many cases the spring is almost gone. It is in the 
spring and balance of a bow that all the real value lies. Here 
again, however, it is not the state of preservation, but the name 
which rules the price, and whenever a dealer gets hold of an 
old Dodd bow he simply claps a modern nut on it, silver or gold 
mounted, and labels it from £3 to £10, according to conscience. 

In regard to pattern, I am inclined to think that the 
preference of the old good bow makers for the septagon 
shape was based upon a sound scientific knowledge, and 
that a bow so shaped, all things being equal, will retain 
its spring and its straightness longer than one which is round. 
The stick must be straight as the stretched hair, and the 
curve downwards so strong and firm that for ordinaiy playing 
suflficient tightness of hair is got when the centre of the stick 
is only a quarter of an inch from the hair. If that distance 


be much exceeded before sufficient tiglitness of hair is got, tho 
stick in that condition is of no great vakie. Any one possess- 
ing a boAV which gives the rcqnisite tightness with little 
screwing up, will always be careful that the above distance is 
not exceeded at any time through tlie ignorance of any one 
who may chance to use the bow. The spring in the stick may 
thus never become impaired, and a good bow last throiigh 
many lifetimes. Unless a fair proportion of the curve be left 
m the stick after screwing up, really fine playing is an 
impossibility. The stick should also be so firm that no quiver 
disturbs it when playing a sudden forte note. The bow must 
be suited in weight to the hand of the player and the instru- 
ment upon which he plays. The tone of a very fine old 
instiniment might in any but the hands of a great artist be 
killed by a very heavy bow ; while a new violin might never 
yield its real tone vmtil that was forced from it with a heavy 
bow. A bow should weigh not less than two ounces and 
never more than two ounces and three quarters. All the 
great violin artists use bows of about the latter weight, 
and through time the student will discover that a really 
powerful tone can never be produced with a light bow. 
If the bow be an old one, it will generally require a modem 
nut, with the slide fitted perfectly to the stick, so as to 
allow no movement to either side. The slightest yielding 
of the nut may warp the stick. The depth of the nut must 
also be suited to the size of the player's thumb, and 
wide enough to allow of a thin covering of leather at that part 
of the stick touched by thumb and fingers. Leather is 
always preferable to silver or gold thread, which being hard 
tires the thumb sooner, and is a constant source of irritation 
through giving way at awkward moments. 

It is asserted that the spring of any bow may be restored, 
and I have known one instance of a valuable bow being thus 
put right, but how long the spring thus recovered will last I 
am xmable to say. That would probably depend upon the 
wood of which the stick was made, and the treatment accorded 
to the restored spring by the player. The bow should never 
be screwed up tighter than I have indicated, and should be 
unscrewed till the hair touches the stick the moment the owner 
has done playing. Many are grossly negligent in this matter, 
and not only screw up the bow till it is nearly straight, but 
leave it thus when done pla3'ing. No spring in any bow 
that ever was made could outlast such treatment. I give hero 


Mr Fleming's recipe for the restoration of the spring of a bow, 
in which the element is heat : — " Take out the screw and coil 
up the hair towards the tip, so that you can hold it concealed 
in one hand, while you slowly pass the stick of the bow before 
a bright fire. Keej^ it thus, passing backwards and forwards 
until the stick becomes so flexible that you can bend it to any 
inclination or any reasonable curve. You can then rectify the 
cast and restore the bow to its original curve, if you know 
Avhat that was. Tlie heating of the stick will occupy from ten 
to twenty minutes or more, according to the intensity of the 
fire. You must be careful to pass it before the fire at such a 
distance as will save the varnish — 2 in., 3 in., 4 in., 5 in., or 6 in. 
from the ribs, according to the heat. When you have rectified 
the cast, and given to the stick the proper curve, it will remain 
so. Cai'efulh' uncoil the hair and fix the nut in, leaving the 
hair quite loose, so as not to drag the stick. Then pass a piece 
of string under the arch of the nut and suspend the bow where 
nothing will touch it, and whei'e it will cool equally over all 
the surface. You should not lay it down anywhere while hot 
nor suspend it against a wall. Half an hour or so will cool it. 
You must also be careful not to expose the hair to the fire, as 
it would shrivel it, and do not suspend the bow by the tip but 
by the nut. Glance your eye along the stick before suspend- 
ing, in order to make sure that you have properly accomplished 
your task." 

In the system practised by the clever artisan whose success 
I have just alluded to, dry heat, not steam, is also employed. 
His address is Mr Edward Brookfield, 1 Railway Street, Birk- 
dale, Lancashire. He is a neat and trustworthy repairer of 
violins, and his charge for restoring the spring, or straightening 
a warped bow, is 2s. 6d. for a common one and 5s. for a valu- 
able one, such as a Dodd or Toicrte, the carriage both ways 
being paid by the sender. The spring can be restored without 
the least injury to the varnish, except in the case of common 
bows, when the varnish will not stand on account of its poor 
quality. In most of the music shops little cases of pasteboard 
or thin wood may be got in which a bow may be safely sent 
through the post. 

Cleaning the Hair of the Bow. 

The hair of the bow should never be so carelessly handled 
or kept as to need cleaning, but there are careless and young 


players who do get the liair dirty or greasy before it is worn 
too smooth for use, these may clean the hair thus — Screw np 
the bow pretty tight ; wet the hair with cold water : rub on a 
good layer of common soap and then rub and scrape with tho 
thumb nail till all the dirt and grease is loosened. Finally 
rinse off soap and dirt by turning a small stream of water on 
so as to run down the hair but not touch the stick. Slacken 
the hair well, immediately, as the dryhig tightens the hair, and 
will pull it out altogether if this be not attended to in time. 
Another plan : Take as much powdered borax as can be lifted 
on a sixpenny piece, put into a wine glass half full of hike warm 
Avater ; apply this mixture to the hair of the bow with a piece 
of clean flannel ; wipe dry with another clean cloth ; and allow 
the bow to hang on a pin, free of the wall, for two or three 
hours, then apply rosin. If the bow get fair play, however, 
and be not used in dusty dancing rooms, and be kept in a 
and not a bag, and the hair never touched with the fingers, 
washing will never be necessary. "When the hair ceases to 
bite well, it will usually be time to remove it and insert a fresh 
hank. This should be done at least once every six months, 
though not a hair s'.iould be broken. Great soloists, and those 
who must have a quick response and a fine tone, renew the 
hair every six weeks or two montlis. A great deal depends 
upon the qualit}' of the hair, however. The Tourte bows were 
originally fitted with exceptionally fine bail", selected hair by 
hair, by Toiu'te's daughter, who sometimes rejected luuidreds 
before choosing one hair. Full directions for re-hairing a bow 
will be found at page 25 of The Violin : How to Master it. 


Tone — Forced and Developed. 

There are two kinds of tone, which may be named the 
Forced and the Developed. AVe may occasionally see a violinist 
in some theatre orchestra laj'ing his cheek on his violin, and 
tearing at the instrument with all his strength. His idea is 
that he is producing as much tone as two or three ordinary 
players. It is a delusion. The tone thus forced will not carry 
half-way across the pit. Its very strength kills it. Tho 


pressure of tlie bow must never be applied so coarsely or so 
strongly as to act as a damper, or to clog the vibration of the 
instrument; and the moment the note drawn forth ceases to 
be elastic, this killing of the tone surely follows. Any one 
unfortunate enough to get into this forced tone will never be 
a solo player, though he should play solos every day of his life. 
A fine tone is like a fine cathedral — it must be built up bit by 
bit. There are rules at the bottom, but the really fine player 
speedily gets above and beyond these. The first rule is to 
play with the edge of the hair. In exact proportion as the 
student plays with the stick of the bow inclined from him 
will be the fineness of the tone. If the inclination be marked 
and decided, the tone will be clear, elastic, and ringing ; if 
there be but little inclination, or worse still, if he should 
play with the flat of the hair, the tone will be poor. How 
to keep the bow in that position and yet get the full benefit 
of the whole width of the hair, I have already shown in The 
Violiyi : Hoio to Master it, p. 46. The second rule is to play 
all rapid passages, Avhich are not slurred, with the xijyper half 
of the hoiv, which is lighter and more elas'^ic to the hand, 
and more pliant in quick crossings of the strings, than the 
lower end. The third rule is to play passages marked ^t'a^io a 
little further from the hridge, and those marked forte closer to 
the bridge, at the same time diminishing or increasing the 
pressure of the first finger on the stick of the bow. But when 
by years of practice the student has mastered these rules, he 
goes beyond them. He may have a long note filling a whole 
bar of eight slow beats to play, with a crescendo or diminuendo 
on that note, in the performance of which it would be quite 
impossible to work the bow nearer to or farther from the bridge. 
In that case he plays the whole note close to the bridge, 
making the diff"erence in the tone solely with the pressure of 
the first finger on the stick of the bow. He does so for another 
reason than that now noticed. The hair of the bow can be 
better economised when kept close to the bridge — a most vital 
matter when a very long note has to be played. This acquire- 
ment comes to him in the light of a discovery, and by and by 
he unconsciously finds himself playing at the best part of the 
string to produce the tone required, and most often near the 
bridge. Again, he gets beyond a rule in regard to the use of 
the heel of the bow, and may begin a note marked 2Jianissimo 
with the lower part, close to the thumb, and make a crescendo 
upon it as it nears the point. It is clearly against the rule, 


but rules are only for novices. They are the foundation only ; 
the superstructure is left to the student himself to rear. '1 u 
understand practically what I have here laid down, it is only 
necessary to watch the playing of Herr Joachim or Madame 
Neruda. Get close to these incomparable artists, and if 
possible, at their right hand; and then observe the manner in 
which the tone is produced. The producer is not brutal 
strength, but refined art, built \\])o\\ the basis which I have 
here tried to make clear. Technics first — the highest art after. 
First master the mechanism of bowing and fingering by the 
study of the ordinary rules, and then advance fearlessly into 
the region beyond. The diificulties of to-day are the trillcs of 
to-morrow. Habit is second nature. And just as we who once 
spelled painfully through the short words of a First Primer, 
now read and master without an effort the most difiicult words 
that it is possible to print in the English language ; so that 
effort or attempt in violin-playing, which at one period seems 
daring itself, will at another be executed without a thought. 
Thus, to a novice at the violin, playing in the high positions, 
and shifting with perfect accuracy from the bottom to near the 
top of the finger-boaid, appears a marvellous performance : yet 
very shortly, as one set of positions after another is mastered, 
he finds that he can take certain of these shifts without a 
thought, and by and by them all, till at length he may play 
through half of the high positions in a piece without even re- 
membering their name and number. He knows by instinct, 
as it would appear, but really by habit, exactly whei'e the notes 
are to be found, and with what arrangement of the fingers they 
can best be commanded, and he takes that position. A pupil 
once stopped me in the middle of a solo, in which I had played 
a long passage pretty far up on the finger-board witli the 
question, "What position is that?" "Position? really I 
don't know," was my answer, though by thinking for a moment 
and counting up I was able to inform him. Technics through 
time drop into oblivion. 

A peculiar drawback from wLich all plajTrs upon all 
instruments suffer, is that they can never hear the tone 
they produce exactly as the audience hear it. The tone 
is never the -same to the listener as it is to the player, 
though so far as the violin is concerned the difference 
is on the right side. This will be consolation to many 
a flustered solo player. The tone is generally better to 
the audience than it is to the solo violinist. His ear is close to 


the instrument — every little slip and scratchy note is exagger- 
ated and magnified to him. All these are lost before they 
reach the audience. The soloist very often comes from the 
platform disgusted -with himself and his performance, only to 
be astonished by others congratulating him upon the delight 
and pleasure they have received from his fine playing. The 
graduations of tone are also more palpable to the listener than 
the player — piano to him is jnanissivio to them — furte to him is 
fortissimo to them — a swell on a note is moi'e noticeable to the 
listener than the player — the quiverings of a tremola or beats 
of an open shake, more marked and rapid ; and a note must be 
dreadfully false before it will excite comment. I am not aware 
if this peculiarity belongs to any other instrument, but I am 
certain of the fact so far as the violin is concerned. Let the 
student, therefore, studiously practise these arts of expression, 
certain that though the effort may appear feeble to him, it is 
not so to the listener, and further that any little slips caused 
by nervousness, the heat of the room or the sinking of the strings 
are mostly swallowed up befoi'e reaching the eai's of the 
listener. These are curious facts, "which I have never before seen 
noticed (see also Preparing Strings for Solo Playing, page 33). 

The Close Shake. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the strongest desire and 
ambition of every amateur violin-player is to play the close shake 
well. "How do you do it? How on earth do you make that 
tremola V said an amateur to me once in an orchestral societ}'. 
" I have sweated over the attempt for two hours at a time, and 
yet I can't get at the secret." Lly prompt answer was, that there 
are studies in violin-playing much more worthy of having so 
much time devoted to them ; but he quickly retorted that I had 
mastered the art, and could aftbrd to say so — put him in the 
same position, and he might think so too. I placed his hand 
and fingers in the best position for a beginner (see The Violin : 
How to Master it, page 79), and in two minutes he was able to 
make a few distinct waves on one note. He had laid the 
foundation for making a close shake slow or rapid on any note 
or any position, and went back to his seat among the second 
violins as proiid as Punch. Hundreds of violin players are in 
exactly the position of that young man — they have the ability, 
but not the knowlcdo-e, and that thoupht has induced me to 


devote a little space to the subject here, in addition to what I 
have already written. The close shake is an imitation of that 
tremulous wave which often comes inibidden into tlie human 
voice during tlic performance of a strained note. Some singei's, 
through ignorance or a pernicious training, introduce this wave 
so often that they eventually lose all control of the voice, and 
cannot sing a note without the detestable and irritating quiver 
rattling throiigh it. ]\fany good tenor and treble singers remain 
in the second or third class, who might easily advanceinto the 
fii-st, but for this wretched and damning tremola. A singer 
thus afflicted, or a harmonium with the tremola stop out, are 
the two things which any one Avith a sensitive ear wishes to be 
leagues away from. On the violin this tremola or close shake 
is not nearly so intolerable, yet even there it is often sadly over- 
done, and many violinists, like the singers above noted, seem to 
lose all control of their left hand, and cannot play a long note 
without the persistent trembling. My earnest injunction, 
therefox'e, to the student before trying to throw a little light 
on the study, is, master the close shake, but do not let the 
close shake master you. 

In some instruction books the student is told to " press the 
finger firmly ou the string, and move the wrist back and for- 
ward," to make the waves of the close shake. That seems to 
Die a veiy stupid direction. After studying the matter closely, 
I have come to the conclusion that the wrist has nothing to do 
with the movement resulting in the close shake, and that that 
movement comes from the fingers, or more strictly from the 
nerves of the fingei's and hand. If the wrist moves it is not 
to cause the waves, but because the trembling motion of the 
hand reaches and affects the wrist. Far from pressing the 
finger firmly upon the note, and "sweating over the task," the 
more lightly the finger is held to the string the more readily 
will the variations in the tone be commanded. What is wanted 
to begin with is to give the nerves of the fingers and han 1 
free play to affect the finger on the string, so as to cause that 
to alternately press the string close to the finger-board and rise 
from the finger-board, and this cannot be done with a deadly 
clench of the finger on the string. That the wrist has nothing 
to do with the movement any one may prove for himself by 
slowly raising and depressing a finger without actually allowing 
it to quit the string. The result will be that variation from 
true to false intonation, which really forms the quivering beats 
of the close shake. All that is wanted is a power which shall 


make these beats rapid enough, and for that power we apply 
to the nerves of the lingers and hand. To allow these nerves 
free play the first condition is to get the hand as free as pos- 
sible of contact with the violin. For this reason a beginner 
Avill generally find it easier to make a close shake with the hand 
advanced to the third position, as described at page 79 of The 
Violin : How to Master it, as the wrist there gets the support 
of the ribs of the violin, and so allows of the first finger being 
held entirely free of contact with the violin. The same ex- 
jDcdient may be adopted for a time on the first position until the 
trembling motion is mastered, but the expedient must be only 
a temporary one, as there are good reasons why the wrist should 
never touch the violin while the first position is being played 
on. Besides, the close shake is often of great use in forcing 
tone suddenly on a note marked thus >>, in the performance of 
which there would often be no time to bring the wrist up to 
touch the ribs. The best position for executing the close shake 
on the first position will usually be found to be that shown as 
the "Free Position" on page 15, more especially with a beginner, 
but hands and nerves vary so much that even that expedient 
is not always necessary. A player who has begun at the age 
of five or six has usually no difficulty in mastering the close 
shake, the nerves have been brought into play before they 
could be hampered by stiftened muscles, and in such cases it 
can be clearly demonstrated that the trembling motion pro- 
ceeds almost entirely from the fingers. Those who have begun 
later may often have to begin the mastery of the close shake 
by exercising the muscles rather than the nerves, but in all 
cases much study and practice will be necessary before perfect 
command of this delightful grace is attained, with every finger 
and on every position. When the best position for perfect 
freedom is discovered, the following hints may be studied with 
benefit : — In making a close shake Avith any finger, allow the 
three disengaged fingers to quiver visibly in the air. Thus 
in making a shake with the fourth finger on G on the second 
string. Third Position, quiver with the first, second, and third 
fingers, and so on with any other finger or position. Some 
pupils, more especially when making the close shake on the 
First Position, find it easier at first to keep down the finger 
behind that which is being used for the shake, as the finger 
thus kept down then acts as a kind of fulcrum to the leverage, 
but that is only another of those temporary expedients which 
any player may find out and justifiably use till the art o. 


making the nerves instead of the muscles do the Avork is 
acquired. In making a shake, cither close or open, on the 
First Position, even if the foretingcr be not absolutely free of 
contact with the neck of the violin as shown in the engraving, 
it must never jiress heavily on the neck, but must for 
the time allow the thumb, in the "Anticipating Position," 
to bear the brunt of the work of steadying and upholding the 
instrument. Absolute freedom is best ; a very light touch 
next best. A heavy pressure renders a good shalce impossible. 
For this reason the close shake is much more easy of 
execution on the violoncello, or with the violin held upside 
down, as the hand is not then hampered by the pressure 
of the first finger, but is absolutely free of contact except at 
the finger point and thumb. After learning to help the 
quivering with the disengaged fingers, the student must en- 
deavour to gradually get rid of mascular power in making the 
trembling, and more and more induce the nerves to become the 
motor. Both muscles and nerves are soon fatigued by practice 
at the close shake. It is advisable, therefore, to arrange the study 
so that the notes to be quivered on come in at short intervals, 
so that the fingers and hand may recover from the unwonted 
exertion. If this be not studied, the hand — exactly as in the 
practice of the open shake — soon gets lamed, and absolute im- 
potence for the time being is the result. In like manner, as 
in the practice of the open shake, the fingers must be turned 
well over the strings, and the thumb be kept v.cll under the 
neck, as shown in the engravings illustrating the "Anticipating" 
and the "Free Positions," pages 15-16. The Close shake may 
be practised at any time and at any odd moment, with a bit 
of wood or an office ruler held violin-wise to the fingers. Any 
exercises or studies, such as those already noticed in the chapter 
on "Flexible Fingering," which tend to split the muscles 
binding the fingers, and so make them more independent of 
each other, also aid the student in the acquirement of the close 
shake ; indeed, the most rapid beats of the open shake are 
often materially aided by that nervous quivering of the hand 
which should be the sole motor in the production of the close 
shake, more particularly when the shake has been a powerful 
one, and is dying away into 2}ici7ussi7no, with the beats quicken- 
ing rather than retarding. Lastly, the close shake must bo 
practised diligently until such perfect control of the beats is 
acquired that they may be made faint or loud, slow or rapid, 
at will. Many seem to imagine that their power with the closo 


slioke depends on the mood of the moment, as it I'eally does 
"with those who choose to risk that. Others are content with 
a very faint attempt at the quivering, which they put in spas- 
modically, and often at notes and passages in which it is clearly 
out of place. Othei's, as I have noticed, go to the opposite 
extreme, and qiiiver on every note, however short, till all con- 
trol of the hand is lost, and like those benighted beings trained 
to sing in the " Italian style," they cannot produce a plain 
pure note. The remedies for these defects of style are Practice 
and Good Taste. The first is within the reach of all. The 
second with many is inborn, but where it is not it may be 
acquired by frequently watching and listening to our greatest 
players. It will then be discovered that these great artists 
frequently play an entire slow movement through, without in- 
troducing a single close shake ; while others of a more im- 
passioned nature are richly and profusely ornamented with this 
delightful grace. It is only those who aim at a cheap popu- 
larity who depend upon this grace as their chief attraction. 
The power to play smooth elastic notes in the faintest jyicmo 
swelling to the loudest forte, together with the instantaneous, 
exact, and true stopping of the notes, is a field of true expression 
Avhich is only too seldom explored, while every street player 
and burnt-corked Christy minstrel considers the close shake 
the best trick in his trade. Either master the close shake, 
then, and keep it in subjection, or let it alone altogether. It 
is a great acquirement, but there are others infinitely greater. 


Concluding Advice. 

I have now tried to put as clearly and tersely as possible 
before the violin player the best, surest, and speediest means 
of obtaining great command of his instrument. When these 
hints are perfectly understood, there remains but one advice to 
be repeated — Take out your Violin and play it. 

The Earless Scraper. 

In only one case must this advice be altogether withheld or 
even changed into — " Put it away, and never touch it again," 


and that is when the devoted and determined scraper lias no 
ear for true intonation. Then indeed the violin, which is the 
most thrilling and delightful of musical instruments when well 
played, becomes the most intolerable and atrocious torturer in 
existence ; and the more ambitious the attempts of the player, 
the further he wanelers up on the finger-board, the more 
dreadful becomes the result. No musician, I am convinced, 
ever felt nearer committing a murder than when listening 
to the earless violin scrai)er. This determined student is 
usually profoundly unconscious of his false intonation, and will 
go on to the platform on every possible occasion, and perform 
a solo with the most unbounded confidence. He is never 
nervous. He is also never asked twice to play, and through 
time discovers that there is a great deal of malicious prejudice 
against his playing. The acme of the horrible usually comes 
when he plays the rapid Coda of his piece, all in chords, and 
then every one in the room but those who like him are earless 
wishes liim ten thousand miles away, or nearly faints in the 
effort to look pleased. Sometimes the sense of relief is so 
great to the audience when the torture is over that they 
apjjlaud loudly, when to their horror on comes the earless 
scraper, as nimbly as an acrobat, to play an encore. He goes 
tlu-ough life under the impression that he is a violin player, 
and merely kept back by a little prejudice. No one cares to 
hint at his fatal defect unless jDrepared to make him an 
enemy for life. A great man once said, " I can supply you 
with arguments, but I cannot supply you with brains." You 
may supply the earless scraper with knowledge, but never with 
the power to play in tune, so, sadly be it said, the best advice 
to him is "Put away your violin, and never touch it again." 

Practise Solidly. 

If you have an hour to spare get the most practice possible 
out of that hour. Put a pile of studies on the music stand 
before you, without regard to order, except that the first be a 
severe one, and then play them straight through without 
pausing even to take the violin from your shoulder. Such 
practice gives great power of endurance and flexibility of 
fingering, and will often compress the advancement of two 
years into one. The student who pauses for five minutes 
between each study to trifle with the music, or snuff, or smoke, 
or think, never masters the violin. He might as well attempt 


to write an immortal poem while devouring a juicy orange. 
Never scramble through music. Play every note, however 
rapid the movement, clean and pure, whether the note be 
accented or unaccented. Most commonly the unaccented notes 
are quite buried and lost in a rapid movement. They should 
stand out as clear and distinct as their fellows, as tlie differ- 
ence is more one of order and position than force of accent. 
Many players in their desire to force execution quite outrun 
clear articulation, pure intonation, strict time, true expression, 
and intelligent reading. There is a feverish haste instead of 
a delicious repose or masterly ease in all they do. The cause 
is scrambling. 

Common Faults of Advanced Players. 

A bad habit which is most easily acquired is that of 
gradually getting sharp when a long passage with much 
shifting occurs on one string. Those unfortunate enough to 
fall into this habit are often surprised, in playing a long 
monochord passage, to find when they sound an harmonic or 
an open string that the note appears intolerably flat. The 
explanation is that the notes preceding, though true in 
relation to each other, have been played more or less sharp 
in relation to the pitch of the string. The only remedy and 
preventative is to be particularly careful that the starting note 
is tiiie in relation to the open string, and to occasionally test 
the position with an harmonic or an open string. Some play 
sharp only on the fourth string, but it is more common for the 
perverted fingering to run over all the strings. The player 
thus afflicted will play sharp in orchestra, and make himself 
intolerable to all near him, though his ear may otherwise be 
good enough. 

Feeling for the Notes. 

Another common and evil habit is that of sliding the fingers 
up to the true stopping of the note by way of giving more 
expi'cssion. This is one of the cheap tricks of street players, 
but the evil of the habit is only discovered when the player 
is among such a body of instruments that he cannot hear when 
his finger ai'rives at the true stopping. The fingers ought to 
descend instantly, like little hammers, well wielded, upon the 
exact spot of true intonation, and the habit of playing thus 
makes it a matter of indifference to the student whether he bo 


playing a solo or in an orchestra a hundred strong. This 
feeling for the notes has no relation to the slide proper, which 
13 one of the finest graces of solo playing. 

Due J Playing. 

Next to playing and practising alono must always be 
reckoned duet playing. The harmony producible by two 
violins is a little thin at best, and we are so accustomed to a 
full body of sound that a violin duct, pure and simple, is only 
too seldom heard in public, the usual remedy being to add to 
the duet the accompaniment of a pianoforte. The remedy is 
much worse than the disease. The playing of duets, never- 
theless, is one of the greatest delights of the true violin 
player, and one productive of the happiest results. The per- 
sistent duet player is always a good reader and a steady man. 
in orchestra, and always pla3-s well in tune, the simj^le reason 
being that if he did not, no companion player would endure 
him twice. Of all the duets composed expressly for the violin 
by the great masters, none can approach those of Pleyel. 
Spohr's Grand Duos are wonderful pieces of harmony, but on 
account of their difficulty they will never be popular. Pleyel 
did not take a very high place as a composer, but his violin 
daets for attractiveness, simplicity of harmonj', and melodic 
b:^auty have never been equalled. They may be had in five 
sets, in the Litolff Collection, from ilessrs Enoch & Sons, 
Holies Street, London, at Is. 3d. and Is. 6d. each set. This 
edition, besides being the cheapest, is the best published, as 
every twentieth bar is indicated in both parts by a letter, a 
great convenience to players who are aj^t to lose or run away 
from each other in a duet. Next to these, I should place 
Maza's Duets, which may be had from the same publishers, in 
six sets at the same prices. They are pleasing and romantic 
in their character, full of melody and good harmony, and have 
as much soul in them as can be exj)ectcd in French music. 
These duets may be taken in the following order, according to 
the degree of advancement of the players : — 

(1) Pleyel's 1st book. No. 526— Maza's 1st book. No. 1123. 

(2) Pleyel's 2nd book, No. 527— Maza's 2nd book. No. 1148. 

(3) Pleyel's 3rd book, No. 528— Maza's 3rd book, No. 1149. 

(4) Pleyel's 4th book. No. 835 — ]\laza's 6 Duos concertants, 

Nos. 1158-9. 

(5) Pleyel's 5th book, No. 83G— Maza's 6 Duos brillants, 

Nos. 1160-1. 


There is really no comparison between the two coinposeis, 
and the above airangement refers to tlic degree of difficulty 
alone. The first of these are very suitable for young players. 
About the poorest ducts ever written for the violin are those 
of Viotti, which are merely dry and mechanical exercises 
wedded into duets by a knowledge of harmony. Viotti appeal's 
to have been entii^ely destitute of the melodic faculty; his 
violin duets are therefore "wooden" in the extreme, though 
good enough for imparting a certain dexterity of fingering and 
independence in playing. Three books of tlaese duets, edited 
by Carrodus, may be had from F. Pitman, Paternoster Row, 
London, at 6d. each. It is as much as they are worth. An 
excellent book of 20 operatic duets is published at Is. 6d. by 
Messrs Boosey A: Co., Eegent Street, London. They are 
not difficult, and some of them make excellent pieces for jDcr- 
formance in public. The duets of Rode, Romberg, May seder, 
Spohr, and Campagnoli may follow these, each of these 
composers having special peculiarities, the study of which give 
great breadth of style and power to the duet player. Good 
violin duets are usually so arranged as to divide melody and 
accompaniment pretty equally between the two players ; never- 
theless, it is a good practice to exchange parts occasionally, more 
especially where the choi'ds are intricate or the parts difficult. 
Pieces may also be had arranged for three and four violins, a list 
of which will be found in the catalogue of the Litolff Collection. 
These make the harmony fuller, and perfect intonation easier, 
and are an excellent preparation for quartette playing proper. 
Quartettes for first and second violin, viola, and violoncello 
are the nearest approach to perfect music which is to be found 
on earth next to that of human voices. It is a grand triumph 
to the violin player, and great relief to his finely trained ear, 
■when he can put aside the jingling pianoforte, and revel in full 
deep harmony and perfect intonation without an accompani- 
ment which is good only for hiding a multitude of sins. The 
violin player ought to put before him the formation or joining 
of a quartette party as the acme of his ambition and the 
crowning joy of his life. Violin duets may be had by the 
bushel bearing the names of all the great composers, but as a 
rule they are adaptions "cnopped up" for the occasion by 
musicseller's hacks. They are a fraud on the buyer, and a 
libel on the composers whose names are appended to them, and 
usually about as effective as The Messiah arranged as a duct 
for two flutes. Let the violin player beware of these, for 


as a rule they are net, raid never were meant to be, violin 

Orchestral Playing. 

After duct playing as a means of advancement comes 
orchestral playing, for which duet playing is the best 
preparation. The player sliould get into an Orchestral Society 
as soon as he can be tolerated in one ; and if there be none in 
his neighbourhood, let him try to form one, however poor, it 
will prove a sure road to advancement and musical culture, 
besides being a means of conferring innocent pleasure, and 
therefore a blessing, on others. 

Solo Playing-. 

From orchestral playing to solo playing is an easy and 
natural step. In The Violin: How to Master it (page 88),- 
I have given a list of easy and effective solos, and to these 
I may add a few more, of a somewhat better class of music, 
which will be found equally useful as studies and effective 
as solos. The prices include a separate pianoforte part, and 
the list is arranged in the order of difficulty. 

"La Colombe," Entr'act, by Ch. Gounod, price 2s. (Londun : 
Metzler &, Co., 37 Great Marlborough Street). 

" Un lUen," by Prosper Sainton, price 2s. (London : 
Chappell & Co., 50 New Bond Street). 

" liomance in F," by Charles Fowler, price 2s. (London : 
Weekes & Co., Regent Street). 

"Meditation," by Ch. Gounod, price 2s. 3d. (London: 
Schott & Co., 159 Regent Street). 

Rode's "Air in G," price Is. 3d. (London: Cocks &, Co., 
New Burlington Street). 

" II Trovatore," F'antasia, by J. B. Singelee (London : Schott 
& Co., 159 Regent Street). 

" Gavotte Stephanie," by A. Czibulka, price 2s. (London : 
Metzler k Co.). 

Raff's "Cavatina," price Is. Gd. (London: Schott ct Co.). 

" Two Romances," by Beethoven, price 9d., Edition Andre 
(London : Augener & Co., Fouberts Place). 

"Aria," for the Fourth String, from Suite, by J. S. Bach, 
price Is. (London : Neumeyer & Co., Hart Street). 

" Elegia," by Luigi Risegari, price 2s. (London : Ilutchins ifc 
Eomer, Regent Street). 


" Legende," by Wieniawski (London : Augener & Co.). 

"Adagio," by Louis Spohr, composed in Gotlia, 1809, price 
2s. 3d. (London : Schott & Co.). 

Ernst's "Elegie," price Is. Id., Edition Peter's (Augener & Co.). 

Nocturne (Chopin's), by Aug. Willielmj, price Is, 6d. 
(London : Stanley, Lucas, and Weber). 

Mendelssohn's Concerto, price Is. Id., Edition Peter's (Lon- 
don: Augener & Co.). The Andante makes a delightful solo for 
many who cannot master the whole work. 

" Lucrezia Borgia," Fantasia, by Prosper Sainton, price 43. 
(London : Schott & Co.). 

Others may be discovered and picked up from time to time 
as the player progresses. Li selecting such pieces it is well 
to note narrowly the difference between a duet for violin 
and pianoforte and a solo accompanied by the pianoforte. A 
duet for violin and pianoforte is a perfect burlesque upon music, 
no matter how great the exponents. The attention is continu- 
ally distracted between the two instruments; the pianoforte 
malces a bad foil to the violin, and the violin accompanying the 
pianoforte seems utterly degraded. The pianoforte is good as 
a solo instrument, and so is the violin, but they do not assimi- 
late well in a duet. As an accompaniment to the violin the 
pianoforte does Avell, though it will not compare vtith the harp; 
but to give it snatches of the melody here and there, as in a 
duet, and make the violin accompany its tinkling notes, is like 
setting the cart to draw the horse. For the same reason, to 
elevate the pianoforte into a concerto instrument, seems to me 
like putting a crown on a court fool. When a violin concerto is 
performed, you think of the solo violin alone, never of the 
orchestra, so distinct is the individuality of the instrument ; 
when a concerto is given by the pianoforte, you think more of 
the orchestra than of the pianoforte, and the solo passages come 
in as an interpolation which is endured rather than enjoyed. 
As a solo instrument, the pianoforte never really shines except 
in giving music of the brilliant " fireworks " school, as demon- 
strated by Ptubinstein and Liszt. These masters knew all 
that the ''instrument could do, and never asked it to do more — 
second-class music from a second-class instrument. Whenever 
the highest music is attempted, the cheat is discovered and the 
poverty of the instrument revealed, but then, curiously enough, 
the cry is against the performer — " How cold he is ! how 
soulless ! " Alas ! it is neither the performer nor the music 
that is soulless — it is the miserable impostor of an instrument, 


the pianoforte. On these points, however, so "touchy" are 
pianoforte players, every one must be a light unto himself. I 
give my impression frankly, but wish to force it upon no one. 
During the present century the pianoforte has received from 
both comjjosers and performei'S an amount of attention and 
"worship so far beyond its merits, that anything — even a little 
devotion to the bass drum — would be a welcome change. The 
reaction against that craze has now more than begun, and 
before fifty years have gone the pianoforte will be assigned its 
true place as an economical and handy imitation of the harp, 
and a tolerable and cheap substitute for a small orchestra. 
Anything be3'oud that is but the fashion of the day, and must 
perish. True art is not founded upon fashion, but is eternal, 
and soon or late shakes off all that is false and unreal. 

In conclusion, I can only repeat to the violin player what 1 
have already addressed to the child student in the Young 
Violinist's Tutor. 

Dear Fellow Student, — You have now laid a firm founda- 
tion for the mastery cf the most perfect and pleasing of all 
instruments, and taken, to your heart one of the purest and 
gentlest sweeteners of life — the matchless Violin ! From this 
stage j-our upward progress is sure, but its rapidity will always 
be in exact proportion to the enthusiasm and love which you 
throw into the work. Nothing that is great was ever accom- 
plished without toil, but here at every advance new beauties 
and delights will unfold themselves to cheer you on your way. 
Determine to mastei' the instrument — to gain such a complete 
command of its powers, as to be able to poi:r through the 
quivering strings and wood every thought and emotion which 
you are capable of conceiving or expressing in music. Then 
will come to you the glorious consciousness of having conquered; 
the proud knowledge of power. You will revel in that — glory 
in it — and be happy. In the drawing-room, in the orchestra, 
or on the platform you will be able to thrill out on hundreds 
the inmost throbbings of your own heart, and so far will have 
attained all that ambition or ardent love can sigh for. But 
take this thought with you from one who has trodden life both 
in simshine and shadow, with this tender companion ever by 
his side. In the violin you have gained the best companion 
and tiiicst friend that earth can bestow. And as a human 
friend, when communing and sympathising with us alone, 
always seems a superior being to the same person when we 
meet him in the world ; so your violin, in your study, in solitude 


and retirement, ^svill rise to grander proportions than elsewhere. 
It will raise you above the earth, it will sob and sigh witli you 
in sorrow, rejoice with you in gladness, console you in bereave- 
ment, cheer yoii in trouble, and gently lift from your heart 
that calumny which mean liumanity ever heaps upon the trvdy 
great and pure. It will become to you a mysterious kindred 
spirit, part of your inmost life and being. Such a friend is 
worthy the most ardent devotion. You will give it that 
devotion now, for the study, once fairly entei'ed upon, is as 
fascinating as it is pure and elevating ; and the more you 
develop the powders of this friend and companion, the more you 
JS'ill love it, and the more closely ^vill it entwine itself into all 
your sympathies and desires. You have to face hard study, 
daily practice, and constant attention to the styles and advice 
of the very best of players before you can gain that j)ower, 
delicacy, and infinite variety of expression Avhich have crowned 
the violin king of all instruments. It is impossible that all 
can be great violin artistes. Water can never rise higher than 
its source. But each young student should work as if it were 
possible for him to be one of the greatest, as all experience 
proves that the most eminent among men have often had least 
idea in youth of their own powers and their mission on eartli. 
Happy, happy golden youth ! when one hour's study is worth 
hundreds in after life. Dear young student ! that time is 
yours now ! It comes but once. Make the most of it, and 
you will bless your unknown adviser long after the poor hand 
and brain which now shape these thoughts are at rest. 



Bach's Sonatas for Violin alone. 

Every violin student who wishes to acquire the power to piny tlie 
most intricate chords, and finijer deftly the most startling changes ami 
cat-jhy phrases, ouglit to get Dacli's six sonatas for violin alone, I'eters' 
Edition, Ko. 228, price Is. 8d Many musicians tiiink Bach's music 
hard, mechanical, and antiquated, but sucli a criticism certainly docs not 
apply to these sonatas, which are full of brii^htness and joy. 'ilicy 
were composed indeed at the happiest and serenest period of liach's hfe, 
and are a fit record of his feelings. The celebrated Ciaconna is inchnlcd 
iu this volume, and the whole work is one for a life time. Many 
attempts have been made to set an accompaniment to these matchless 
inspirations, but in every case the attempt has been in the worst taste 
— an excrescence instead of an improvement. Tlie sonatas are complete 
as Bach made them, and the greatest kindness anyone can sliow tlicm is 
to keep and play them so. The rapid movements must at first be taken 
at quite a moderate speed, great care being taken to finger and ];ow 
them exactly as they are marked, as tliis work, like most continental 
music, has been edited with great care and exactitude. In no otlier 
work is the surprising delight of a fugue upon a single violin to be 
found ; and whether the music be played for itself or not, there can be 
no doubt whatever as to its effect upon the player; and half-an-hour's 
daily practice at some of these movements cannot fail to broaden and 
deepen the student's power and style. 

Women as Instrumentalists. 

A great American musician recently expressed the opinion that 
women make quite as good instrumentalists as men. At first si:,dit 
there seems nothing in the statement which any reasonable being 
should dispute. But a little examination will show that the opinion is 
not supported by facts. One might indeed as well say, " Women make 
as good men as men." Women may indeed produce as good music as 
men, but when the production of tliat music depends on muscular 
strength, as in performing upon the violin or the jiianoforte, the efforts of 
women must be lacking in jmwfr of tone as compared with those of men. 
Even Madame Ncruda, though a liig, muscular woman, with all her 
power and skill, has not the tone of Herr Joachim or Mr. Carrodus; 


and, ill like manner, when a woman wishes to produce on the pianoforte 
that power of tone which Riihinstein and Hallfe get with the muscles of 
the fingers, she has to use the wci<j;ht of the hand — in a word, has to 
iktimp. To any one who h;.s studied physiology the reason is plain 
enough — the muscles are not equal in the two sexes, and, therefore, 
though the conception may be in the brain of a woman, the hands 
cannot reproduce it, and so convey the conception to the listener. 

When listening to a solo on the violin played by a woman, one of tvro 
critiijisms is generally expressed, no matter how great the executive 
ability of the player: first, " How sweet the mnsie is, but how thin her 
tone;" or, second, "Her execution is good, but how harshly she plays." 
In the first, the player is probably content to produce good music, as 
far as her muscular strength allows her ; in the second, determined to 
get fulness of tone, she sacrifices the music, forces the tone beyond her 
muscular power, and gets only harsh noise. She cannot, as with the 
pianoforte, thump, but she can press and screech and bite out the notes, 
which is only another way of saying that she can force. 

Is there no remedy for this ? I am not sure that there is none. I do 
not suppose that women, collectively, will ever be equal to- men in 
muscular power ; but I do believe most religiously that their muscular 
power could be developed — more particularly the muscular power of the 
fingers, hands, and arms. They can row, swim, drive, or ride ; they 
can swing from the trapeze or the horizontal bar ; they can golf (the 
legitimate long game, not the silly abortion played with a putter) ; they 
can play cricket and tennis ; they can hammer nails, do cabinet work, 
wood carving, or brass retroussfee work ; they can sweep floors, brush 
carpets, hoe weeds, and dig garden plots. Such work and exercise 
continued from childhood to womanhood must produce a good result, 
and give the power to produce more muscular music — in a word, give 
more power. Even a man who has not a muscular hand will not 
produce the full tone of one who has, unless he has developed the 
muscles by some such means as those I have indicated. I once knew a 
man, a light little follow, with lingers almost as thin as threads, who 
could execute almost anything upon the violin, but his tone was as thin 
as any woman's. Another I knew who had been a joiner in his youth, 
and his tone was as full, round, and rich as if the violin had been a 
violoncello. The secret of the whole is in one word— muscle. However, 
here it may be noted tliat there is no absolute gain in physics — where 
we gain in one direction we lose in another, and vice versd. 

Intricacies of fingering generally present fewer difficulties to a woman 
than a man, as her fingers are thinner and less stifiened in the muscles 
than those of the ordinary man, but this very physical peculiarity tells 
against her in playing fifths and masses of chords in which one finger 
has to command two strings. The finger points are too narrow. 

A woman has a delicacy of touch and refinement of instincts which 
give her a tone altogether difi'erent from that of a man, and though 
that tone is weaker, it is often sweeter and purer. Develop the muscles, 
and the tone broadens and deepens, but this subtle characteristic to 
some extent disappears. There is, therefore, consolation to the woman 
of weak muscles. Here let mo give one word of warning. Forcing the 
muscles is often more disastrous than forcing the tone. The develop- 
ment must be steady, not sudden. A friend of mine, a violin player, 
would draw himself up to the chin by one hand, and he burst the 



muscle of the wrist and crippleil it for life; another, a pianoforte 
player, would strengthen the muscles of his little lingers by pulling on 
his boots with them, ami he lamed one of them, possibly for life. We 
are born with a certain power of muscle, varying both in men and 
women, and a certain power of development, and beyond that none of 
us can go. To compare the sexes for tlie sake of disparagim^ one is 
foolish. They were never meant to be compared. They arc dilfcreut, 
and always must remain different; both admirable, both illimitable in 
power in their different spheres. But in both there is here and there a 
weak joint in the armour ; and I have here indicated where one may be 
found, and strengthened not only lor the battle of life, but for one of 
the sweetest and most eutrauciug arts which God has shed upon this 
beautiful world. 

Arpeggio Staccato Playing : How to Master it. 

I have been frequently asked bj' correspondents to explain how that 
delicate and fairy-like staccato springing of the bow used in arpeggio 

-sdzr* »35i^ tf^rr^ s'^: 




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76 A rPKXDIX. 

playing is executed. I thought that I had already explained this easiest 
of all tricks of bowing by giving an example on page 101 of The Violin: 
lioio to Master it (price Is ; Edinburgh: KiJiiler & Son, North Bridge), 
but, as some of my correspondents may not have seen that work, I here 
give a fuller example. To produce the effect there must be no attempt 
to separate the notes in the slur, the bow will do that itself. Tlie trick 
indeed is so ridiculously simple that few writers have thought necessary 
to explain the method. The first bar of the example is marked with 
ordinary slurs. These are to be played with the upper third part of the 
bow alone, keeping the wrist of riglit arm rather stiff, and having the 
hair of the bow a little tight ; almost before the first bar has been finished 
the bow will of its own accord have begun to stutter on the string, and 
will produce, without an effort on the part of the player, the delicate 
separation of notes desired. The same effect can be jiroduced upon 
three strings, or even upon two. In many classical works introducing 
this arpeggio staccato (such as Mendelssohn's Concerto, Bach's Ciaconna, 
&c.) the lowest note is strongly accented, though still with the upper 
third part, and thus forms an elective bass to the melody, or the 
accented note may be the melody, though underneath, and the remainder 
of the chord the accouipanimenl to that melody. In the example below 
I have chosen those chords which are easiest to finger in tune and most 
ready to produce the effect. The fingering of the chords in staccato 
arpeguios must be finically true or the result will be atrocious even to 
the most dull-eared listener. A sure method of forcing the bow to begin 
to pick out the notes in this delicate staccato, and to keep it doing so, 
is to cause the lower part of the right arm, near the wrist, to strike the 
groin at every down bow, keeping the whole of the muscles of the right 
irm stiff and taut. 

Now Ready, Fifth Thousand. Price One Shilling. 






'Love anfl sorrow intcrniin^Ie in "Romantic Stories of Stage and 
Ring, " a Wandering' Musician giving many sad and a few comic 
glimpses of life behind the scenes, with some pathetic sketches of child 
performers. ' — Grapltic. 

' There is a decided flavour of rouge, paint, and sawdust in this book, 
but a Wandering Musician has succeeded in bringing together a 
number of entertaining stories, dealing with the serious as well as the 
comic side of stage life.' — Literary World. 

' Sixteen captivating stories from the clever pen of William C. 
Iloneyman, with whose unrivalled capacity for story-telling readers have 
for many years been familiar. Few fictionistj in the present day can equal, 
much less surpass, Mr Iloneyman in ability to impart dramatic interest to 
his narratives, and hence the wide poimlarity of his tales. In this vohime 
he appears at his best. 'Ihe phase of life he has chosen to depict is full of 
bright lights and dark shadows, and these he has set forth with rare skill 
and truthfulness. It does not at all surprise us to learn that no fewer than 
four thousand copies of " Stage and Ring " were sold before the day of 
•pv\i\\z2i'i\ox\.'' ^People' s Journal. 

The pathetic, humorous, sad, and occasionally joyful life of the stage 
and circus are in these stories admirably delineated. They are all liealthy 
in tone and teaching, the author having the skill to teach by example and 
incident. To come across a shilling's worth of stories such as these is a 
delight. ' — A'oi-wich Alercury. 

' The stories are evidently the work of a ]iractised story-teller. There is 
not one without strong interest, and the book altogether is a capital one 
for road, river, or rail.' — Evening I'elegrapii. 

' Written with much spirit and ability, infused with interest, and clever, 
the volume is altogether a most enjoyable one.' — Glasgow Herald. 

* A series of really interesting and most readable stories, containing vivid 
and life-like sketches of character, and romantic incidents in the lives of 
performers in music halls, circuses, &c. ' — A/iddlcsex Standard. 

' Sixteen clever and entertaining stories, written with marked ability, 
both humorous and patlietic. ' — A'eivcastle Chronicle. 

' They are original, written with force and vivacity, and with a decided 
and attractive style of their own, and the pictures whicli they present have 
all the semblance of reality. These stories are also pervaded by a strong 
sense of human sympathy, and by the influence of an acute obscr.-ation, 
drawing upon sources of much experience of men and manners.'— 
Whitehaven News. 


30 til EDITION, WITH NEW APPENDIX, Is.; Cloth, Is. 6d. 




" To find a really plain and practical guide to any branch of study is 
quite a rarity, for generally so-called guides are so filled witli technical 
terms and ambiguous phrases, as often to puzzle the most skilful expert. 
In the present work, however, the author places his instruction in such a 
way before his pupil as to render his meaning clear at a first glance. To 
all who love the violin, but do not know how to master it, we would say, 
procure this little book, and many of the difficulties will be instantly 
smoothed away." — Pictorial World. 

" The writer of this book has accomplished a task of no common difficulty 
with uncommon ability and singular success — that of giving such verbal in- 
struction in an art as the student can clearly understand and put to 
practical use with certainty and safety. He leaves no point untouched. 
The reader feels as if being talked to by a teacher whose sympathies are 
keenly alive to every possible doubt and difficulty ; as if a violin and bow 
were being put into his hand, and his every act therewith under strictest 
surveillance. It is a book that ought to be, and indeed will be, in the 
hands of every one who either plays or means to play the violin, being the 
most comprehensive, the most precise, and withal the least costly of any 
book of instruction in violin playing ever issued. " — Dundee Advertiser. 

"The work deserves to be known by all players. Teachers will do well 
to put it in the hands of their pupils. It will enable them to teach more 
intelligently, while the pupils will be more apt to receive instruction, and 
to profit largely by it." — Norzvich Weekly Joia-nal. 

" A very handy, sensible book, furnishing much valuable information 
about the ' king of the orchestra. ' The observations on bowing are most 
clear and to the point. ' Harmonic playing,' too, is dealt with with 
admirable lucidity. The choice and preservation of an instrument, and 
many other topics connected with its masteiy and care, are equally well 
handled." — Musical Standard. 

"The very questions students constantly desire to ask are here more 
plainly answered than in works of the greatest authorities upon the instru- 
ment. There are good observations on the choice of an instrument ; 
salutary cautions against the tricks of unscrupulous manufacturers ; many 
practical hints respecting holding, stringing, tuning, bowing, &c. ; and 
some very useful directions as to the course of study to be pursued, the 
standard books being recommended in systematic order. Many students 
will thank the author for his labours on their behalf." — Mtisical Times. 

" Full of shrewd practical advice and instruction, and a veiy valuable 
supplement to the regular manuals, such as Spohr's and Loder's. '1 he 
author has contrived to make his work readable and interesting as well as 
instructive. He treats his theme with real enthusiasm." — Scotsman. 

"It is wonderful, well packed, comprehensive, and thoroughly practical. " 
■ — Lady's Pictorial, 

"It is violin teaching popularised by one whom we know to be a pro- 
ficient and skilful player, and whose understanding of the instrument is as 
nearly as possible perfect. To this he adds a style of lucid exposition which 
enables him to make every line and sentence understood. The work is 
thorough in treatment and exhaustive in scope, and should be in the hands 
of all who desire to become really proficient players. " — Evening Telegraph, 

Elghteanth Edition, Now Beady. Full Music Slzo. Prloo 2?. 


A Collection of Easy Airs, Operatic Selections, and Familiar Slelodies, harmonised 
as Duets for Two Violins, witli simiile Scales and Progressive Exercises, and full 
directions for Parents, rupil, and Teaclier ; the whole arranjred on an entirely ne\» 
principle, in a pleasing and attractive manner, for the use of Ueginners. 


The principles upon which this hook is arranged may he summarised thus— I. 
Giving the young pupil more practice tlian theory.— II. Teacliiiig liini the n.otes 
alphabetically and only to the extent required at each stage. — III. Placing oidy the 
two strings most easily reached by little hands and short fingers— tlie first and 
second — before him at first, and taking liim gradually backwards on the strings till 
he can command the wlwle four. — IV. Giving him the easiest scales in fingering and 
for setting well the hand.— V. Training him to use the fourtli finger witliout sliifti- 
ness of the hand by always giving him a grip of the violin witli tlie first or second 
finger. — VI. Giving him more melodies and pleasing airs than exercises.— VII. 
Accustoming him from the first to play concerted music, thereljy training the ear 
and laying the foundation for future firmness, power, and tone in orchestral playing. 
— VIII. Making him early to play upon the shift by giving liim easy melodies, intro- 
ducing the Third and Fifth positions, thus setting tlie liand and thumb properly to 
the ujiper as well as the lower part of the finger-board. 

The book is arranged as a First Tutor or Primer, to teach the art of playing the Violin 
and the reading of music by the simplest and surest steps ever devised, and though 
specially designed for the young, is eminently suitable for beginners of any age. 

The Duets, which form a leading feature of the woik, are adapted for teacher and 
pupil, for two pupils practising together, or for one pupil more advanced than 
another superintending the younger player's studies. Even advanced students will 
find many of the Duets an agreeable means of passing a pleasant hour. 

Introduction— Hints to Parents and Beginners. Open String Exercises. First 
Scale, A Major. Diagram of Finger-Board for First Scale. First Melody. Indian 
Air. Tlie Blue Bells of Scotland. Rouseau's Hymn. Cuppie Shell. Study in Notes 
and their E(iuivalent Hests. John and Ann. Scale of D Major. Nelly Ely. Ex- 
tended Scale of D Major. Diagram of Finger-Board for Extended Scale of D Major. 
Coal Black Rose. West End Hornpipe. Be Kind to tliy Father. First Exercise for 
the Fourth Finger. First Exercise in Slurring. Grandfather's Cloclc. Scale of G 
Major. Diagram of Finger-Board for Scale of 6 Major. Scale Exercise in G Major. 
Ten Little Niggers. Swing Song. Home Sweet Home, witli Easy Variation. 
Mermaid's Song, from ' Oberon.' Andante from the ' Surprise ' Symphony. Second 
Exercise in Slurring. A Highland Lad. Annie Laurie. Wae's Me for Prince 
Charlie. First Exercise in Shifting. Easy Melody, introducing the Tliird Position. 
Exercise in Slurring Fifths. Extended Scale of D Major. Exercise in Shifting on 
Two Strings. The Wounded Hussar. Exercise in Sharply Defining Semitones. The 
Blue Bells of Scotland (arranged as an Easy Solo, with Variations). Ye Banks and 
Braes. To !Mary in Heaven. Daily Exercise. AVhen the Kye Comes Ilame. Olga 
Waltz. Little Liza's Hornpipe. Exercise in Linked Dotted Notes. The Keel Ptow. 
Lannigan's Ball. First Study in the Shake. Staccato Study. Legato Study, 
Meditation. Toddum's Polka. Extended Scale of G Major. First Study in crossing 
the Strings. Second Study in the Shake. I Know a Bank. First Scale of C ilajor. 
Easy Melody on the First Scale of C JIajor. Extended Scale of C Major. German 
Song. Exercise in Fingering the Imperfect Fifth of C M.ijor. Second Study in 
Crossing the Strings. Blucher's ilarch. Daily Exercise in Legato Bowing. Silver 
Bell Schottische (introihicing Melody by Spohr). Duet from 'Itigoletto.' Extended 
Scale of D Major, introducing the Fiftli Position. Easy Melody on the Third and 
Fifth Positions. Pleyel's First Duet. Scale of F Major. Life Let us C'lierish. 
Melody from Loder (Harmonised). Daily Legato Exercise, ilarch of the Men of 
Harlech. Scale of B Flat Major. Easy Melody for Setting the Hand to B Flat. 
Duet from 'Don Pasqu.ale.' Flora M'Donald's Lament. Duet from 'La Traviata." 
First Scale of E Flat. Shells of Ocean. Extended Scale of A Major. Exercise ou 
the Extended Scale of A Major. Second Study in Stretched Notes. Conclusion. 







"'The Young Violinist's Tutor' should be placed in the hands of all 
beginners, on account of tlie pleasing and attractive manner in which it is 
arranged. The Introduction gives some very useful hints on the study of 
this instrument, so charming when well played." — Giiiphic. 

"The author has evidently devoted a large portion of his time to closely 
observing the difficulties which children ha\e to encounter in entering 
upon this study, and to judge by this work the time has not been spent in 
vain. This rational method of instruction will be found to be one of the 
best that has hitherto been made public, and we heartily recommend it to 
teachers and parents." — Saturday RevLiu. 

"The aim of the author has been to make easier the work both of 
beginners and of the teacher. As most of the instruction books take for 
granted a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the pupil, there is 
ample room for a work which, like this, begins at the beginning. The 
author is a violinist of experience, and the book furnishes abundant evi- 
dence of his thorough knowledge of his subject." — Scotsman. 

"We can heartily commend it as an efficient and trustworthy guide 
for young or old, who intend learning to play the violin. The collection 
of airs is most attractive, and they are all pleasantly harmonised as duets. 
The author has put clear-headed juaclical instruction in every page. It 
will decidedly give a great impetus to violin playing." — People's Friend. 

" This book is thoroughly practical. All the tunes are well arranged 
as duets, so that the master need not follow the vicious plan of covering up 
his pupil's faults by superior playing, for he has the means at hand in a 
simple accompaniment for giving needful help in mastering the difficulties 
of time and tune." — N'orzuich ]\lerciirv. 

"As a beginner's method it could not be easier. The difficulties are 
reduced to a minimum by an exceedingly gradual and highly pleasurable 
course of study, and by the plainest possible verbal instruction. The 
author is clearly an enthusiast and a most capable instructor ; and the 
course of study is almost entirely through familiar airs set as duets, selected 
with remarkable aptitude to ensure safe and smooth progress." — Diindei 

"To learn to play the violin while young is universally admitted to be 
the only road to marked ability with that wonderful instrument ; but 
where is the violin tutor which any child could look at without its brain 
beginning to reel? The author of 'The Violin : How to Master it,' who 
may fairly take credit for much of the impetus given to violin playing 
witliin the past few years, answers this question by producing a tutor 
which, with what we take to be a touch of sly humour, he says 
is ' arranged on an entirely new principle, in a pleasing and attractive 
manner, for the use of beginners.' Certain success awaits 'The Young 
Violinist's Tutor.' " — People' s Journal. 

" Thoroughly practical^ and has our warm commendation." — The Queen. 


Second Edition. Full Music Size. Price Is. Postage lid. 


®n Scottisb anO Srisb aits, 



(WLhout Accompaniment). 

By a professional PLAYER, 

Author of " The Violin : How to M.tster it ;" " TIte Youns Violinist's Tutor," &'c. 


InlroJucing "O' a' the Aiits," " Flora Macdonald's Lament," and " \Vha 
wadna feclu for Charlie." 

Introducing "The Harp that once thro' Tara's Halls," "The Pretty Girl 
Milking the Cow," and "The Irish Washerwoman." 

Introducing " Roslyn Castle," " Ye Banks and Braes," and " Polly put the 
Kettle on." 

Opinions of the Press. 

"The choice of airs is good, and the duets are effectively scored.' — Scotstnan. 

"Th^se are most excellent arrangements and well worthy of diligent study." — New- 
tastle Chronicle. 

"'Three Brilliant Violin Duets' will find favour with all amateurs. The author 
observes — 'The music capable of being produced by two violins is delightfully pure and 
sweet, and less distracting to the untrained ear than much of that having a pianoforte 
accompaniment." There is much truth in this assertion, and these pleasing duets go far 
to prove the fact." — Graphic. 

" The author of ' The Violin : How to Master it,' whose works have gained a world- 
wide popularity, has published three duets which we heartily commend to our readers. 
The airs introduced are all established favourites, and are given with such pleasing effects 
as quartettes for two violins, a flute accompanied by a harp, a tenor singer accompanied 
by a harp, &c. I'he work has been most mmutely and carefully edited, the harmonics by 
wliich the flute is imitated being fingered and bowed throughout. The effect towards the 
close of each duet is really brilliant, and as the arrangement is complete without a 
pianoforte part the performers run no risk of being disturbed by a poor accompanist." — 
PeopW s J onrnal. 

" Violin players of the right sort have a tendency to be gregarious, and there is no 
more pleasant form of music than a duet for those who have attained some proficiency. 
The mutual education of playing together is something, and, when the arrangement is a 
good violin duet, is most effective. There are none too many I'f these in existence, and 
the widely-known author of 'The Violin: How to Master it ' is to be thanked for his 
really brilliant duets. Fingering and bowing are marked where necessary." — Glasgow 

"Some fine effects have been introduced with much taste and skill, and these duets 
will be much appreciated by amateur violinists." — People's Friind. 

"These duets will supply an acknowledged want in the musical world. It is now so 
common for young ladies to be taught violin playing that one gladly welcomes music of 
this class as adding to the possibility of pleasant musical evenings at home. The arrange- 
ments are admirable, all due regard to expression and touch being prominently displayed." 
— I Vizard of t/ie North. 

"We are sure that his arrangements will at once become popular. Considerable 
ingenuity been displayed in the construction of the second part, and in the intro- 
duction of imitations of the voice, the harp, and the flute in several of the pieces. The 
most difficult passages are carefully noted for fingering and bowing, and the duets will 
make e.xcellent practice for young violinists." — DuncUe Advertiser. 


15th Edition, Now Beady; Pictorial Boards, 2s. 6d.; Cloth Gilt. Ss. Gd. 


By James M'Govan, Author of " Hunted Down." 


"That truth is stranger than fiction is daily proved by the episodes 
which come under the notice of the detective force ; and the experiences 
of M'Govan may vie for variety and excitement with the most startling 
creations of a sensation novel." — The Graphic. 

" So fascinating, indeed, have we found these stories, with their alterna- 
tions of the tragic, the humorous, the pathetic, and the graphic and 
occasionally eloquent style which characterises the method of their relation, 
that we have found it difficult to lay the book down without reading it 
straight through." — Liverpool Albion. 

"He has a rich deep vein of pathos running, like a golden thread, 
through the greater number of the tales, with a tenderness in depicting 
some of the unfortunate criminals who fell under his care that is both 
touching and beautiful." — Dundee Advertiser. 

" Graphic and deeply interesting experiences. Some of the narratives 
are exceedingly touching, while others are grotesquely humorous ; but in 
all of them we can trace the influence of a genial spirit and a sympathising 
heart. . . . The pathetic pictures of sin and suffering which he presents 
to his readers can scarcely fail to create or deepen those feelings of sym- 
pathy for the erring which must precede all true efforts for their reclama- 
tion." — London Temperance Record. 

" In the main they strike us as stories which might have been true and 
which thus very fairly represent circumstances and characters which come 
under the notice of a police agent in the Scotch capital." — Literary World. 

" Marvellous and graphically told tales, always intensely interesting, 
some of them very humorous, others deeply pathetic, not one of them pan- 
dering to vicious taste. " — People s Friend. 

" A man more fertile in device it would be hard to find." — N'onvich 

" There is a realism in all his sketches ; and the reader is lifted into the 
atmosphere of adventure and romance more wonderful than fiction. In 
some of the tales there are passages of touching tenderness, of deep 
penitence for sin, and of parental sorrow and forgiveness, which cannot be 
read without the emotional feelings being deeply touched." — Ardrossan 
and Saltcoats Herald. 

" Never since the days of M'Levy has a volume of detective experiences 
appeared so fascinating as the one now before us." — Aberdeen Journal. 

"A fascinating collection of stories." — Courant. 

"A scries of striking and dramatic stories, told with spirit, by one who 
claims to be an ex-detective." — Sunday limes. 

"They have been so extensively read in South Australia that it is 
scarcely necessary for us to say anything respecting their character. Mr 
M'Govan possesses much literary ability, many of his scenes being hi;;h!y 
realistic ; and it is quite evident that he must have been personally brought 
into contact with the characters whose lives he so vivedly portrays. The 
stories are intensely interesting ; in pathos and humour Mr M'Govan is 
equally at home." — South Australian Advertiser. 


8tli Edition, with 20 Zngravirgs frcm Photos, Is.; Cloth, Is. 6d. 




For the Perfect Mastery of the Instrument. 
By the Author of " The Violin: IIow to Master it," &c. 


Chapter I.— The purpose of the Work— Violin Players— The Trifler— The Showy 
Player— The Model Player— Holding the Violin— Chin-Rests (Illustrated) — The 
Spoon, Double Ridge, Spohr, Adjustable, Voigt's Shoulder, and New Vulcanite Chin- 
Rests — Their Advantages and Disadvantages Analysed and Explained. 

Chaptfr it. — Holding the Violin — Variations of the Position of the* Left Hand 
(IlIustrated)^The Normal Position — The Firm Position — The Free Position — The 
Anticipating Position. 

Chapter III. — The Management of the Bow — The Action of the Fourth Finger 
(Illustrated) — The Position of the Thumb — The Left Hand — Flexible Fingering; 
How to attain it — Cork Stretching (Illustrated) — New Finger Stretching Exercise — 
The best Exercise ever written for the Violin — Stretching the Thumb. 

Chapter IV. — How to Judge and Select Strings — How to Keep and Improve 
Strings — The Points of a Good String — The Fourth String: How to use it — Preparing 
Strings for Solo Playing — The 'A' Spring Catcher. 

Chapter V. — Adjusting the Violin — The Bridge — The Sound Post — The Strings — 
The Bass Bar — Resetting the Neck and Finger Board — Lining or ' Sandwiching' — 
The Pegs — The Patent Holdfast Peg — The New Peg Turner. 

Chapter VI. — Violins, Old and New — The Adjuster — Rusty Cremonas — Frauds 
for the Experienced — Mixed Cremonas — False Tickets and Real — The most reliable 
Experts — How to Judge O.d Violins. 

Chapter VII. — Frauds for the Inexperienced — Frauds in Bows — How to Judge, 
Select, and Preserve a Bow — Restoring the Spring of a Bow — Cleaning the Hair o£ 
the Bow. 

Chapter VIII. — Tone, Forced and Developed — Getting beyond Rules— Consolation 
to the Solo Player — The Close Shake : How to Master it. 

Chapter IX. — Concluding Advice — The Earless Scraper — Common Faults of 
Advanced Players — Duet Playing— Orchestral Playing — Solo Playing — List of Effective 
Solos — The Powers of the Violin. — Appendix Women as Instrumentalists, Sic. 

" A book which we confidently recommend to both amateur and profes- 
sional performers. The subject is dealt with very fully, and the first part 
contains a large number of practical illustrations. The chapters dealing 
with the sale and purchase of old violins are amusing, and the whole work 
will be found both interesting and instructive." — IVhilcha-'en News. 

"A book which will be greatly relished by violin players everywhere, and 
which conveys its 'tips' and hints, and cautions ami lessons, in such clear, 
forcible language, and in such a felicitous style, that the book may be reacl 
with interest by any one, though no violinist will scan its pages save with 
both pleasure and profit." — Dundee Advertiser, 

"The author well understands the method of making a technical subject 
interesting. Violinists will find the book a complete repertory on the most 
approved styles of holding the violin, the management of the bow, the 
selection and care of strings, the best method of practice, «S:c." — People's 


Seventh Edition. Full Music Sizo. Price Is. Postage lid. 


For the VIOLIN, with an Accompaniment for the Pianoforte. 

By a professional PLAYER. 

Author of "The Violin: How to Master it," "The Young Violinist's 
Tutor and Duet Book," &c. 

No. I, introducing "To Mai-y in Heaven," "There's nae luck about the 
Iloose," "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon," and " Rob Roy Mac- 
Gregor, O !" No. 2, introducing "Logic o' Buchan," " Hielant Lad," 
"Auld Robin Gray," and "The Keel Row." No. 3, introducing 
"Comin thro' the Rye," "The Flowers of the Forest," and "The Fairy 
Dance." Price of the whole, whh accompaniment, ONE shilling. Just 
published, a Second Violin Part to the above Fantasias. Price 6d. 

" Admirers of easily-set popular melodies will be pleased with these 
Fantasias." — Graphic. 

"The arrangement is pleasing, and the fingering well within the capacity 
of young students of the violin." — Not'djich Weekly Joii7-nal. 

" Young violinists in search of easy compositions in a popular style will 
find suitable study in these Fantasias." — Glasgow Mail. 

" The selection is excellent, and will prove good practice on both instru- 
ments for juveniles." — Daily Review. 

"Delightful exercises for young violinists, and capital pieces for per- 
formance either in public or the family circle." — People's Friend. 

"These Fantasias are well adapted for players at an early stage, as they 
are carefully marked throughout with technical directions." — Con rant. 

Second Edition. Full Music Size. Price Is. Postage IJd. 


On Scottish and Irish Airs, arranged for the use of Amateur and 
Professional Players. {Without Accompaniment). 

By a professional PLAYER. 
Author of " The Violin : liow to Master it," &c. 

/\lbie by the Author. — The music capable of being produced by two 
violins is delightfully sweet and pure, and less distracting to the untrained 
ear than much of that having a pianoforte accompaniment. Little has 
been done as yet in this direction by composers, and I have been induced 
to publish these duets by the enthusiasm with which they have invariably 
been received when perfonned in public by myself and my girl. In intro- 
ducing the novel and pleasing effects of two quartettes, a flute accompanied 
by a harp, a tenor singer accompanied by a harp, &c., I have only shown 
feebly the power of two violins, and indicated how others with more time 
and ability than I can command may follow up my efforts. With such 
pieces players are also quite independent of a bad accompanist and undis- 
mayed by the absence of a pianoforte. 


lOth Edition, Now Ready; Pictorial Boards, 2s. Cd. ; Cloth Ciit, 3s. 6d. 




Author of "Brought to Bay," " Hunted Down," and "Strange Clues." 


"Mr M'Govan continues to work with success the vein with whicli he 
has already done so well. It is a book which it is unnecessary to criticise. 
When we say that it is eminently readable, written with good sense and 
good taste, and deals with difficult subjects with much tact, we have not 
gone beyond the truth nor done more than justice to a very praiseworthy 
volume. " — Spectator. 

"They are among the best specimens of the class of literature to which 
they belong. Mr M'Govan is a genuine artist in the detective line, and 
puts into his stories a touch of real human nature." — Scotsman. 

"In 'Traced and Tracked' are to be found some of the detective's 
most interesting narratives. There are no detective stories which surpass 
those of Mr M'Govan in real interest and genuine ability. They are 
fascinating to a high degree, and so well told that they well ref'ay 
more than one perusal." — Kollterham Advertiser. 

"M'Govan does not keep strictly to crime, but gives occasional 
digressions into sentiment. For the rest he writes without affectation, and 
keeps his piety within bounds." — Saturday KcznrM. 

"'The very Dickens of detectives,' as he has been well called, his 
narratives at once fix the reader's attention, excite his sympathy, and 
satisfy his judgment. One admirable feature is his feeling for those who 
suffer for no fault of their own. A proof of the popularity of M'Govan's 
tales is to be found in the fact that they are being widely translated 
into Continental languages." — Sheffield Tele.:Taf<Ii. 

" The ease with which Mr M'Govan retains his hold on the imagination 
and the sympathy of his readers, is hardly less wonderful than the skill 
with which he seldom fails to unravel a mystery." — A'ai-vieh Alereury. 

' ' We know of no other detective who could clothe his memoirs in 
language so simple and effective. There is more here than intense realism. 
There is a vein of humour, and an occasional gleam of pathos which we 
may look for in vain in volumes of higher pretensions." — Aberdeen Journal. 

"It is in tapping these sealed fountains of true hamanity, and setting 
free the pathos and goodness that have been hid, that the secret of 
M'Govan's success lies. Many of the tales are touchingly beautiful, and 
appeal direct to the heart. There are also gleams of humour here and 
there, and there is fascinating interest in every page." — Dundee Advertiser. 

"They are mastei^pieces — always life-like — and the story kept boiling 
from the first word to the last." — Ccurant. 

"M'Govan discovers an amazing insight into the ways, the thoughts, 
the feelings and the frailties of poor fallen humanity, and wields the ready 
pen of a perfect master of narrative composition." — People' s Journal. 

"For do\vnright ability, sustained interest, and healthfulness of tone, 
we know of no stories superior to these experiences of M 'Govan, and the 
present volume is eveiy whit equal to its predecessors." — Inverness Courier. 


Now Keady, Sixth Edition; Pictorial Boards, 2s. Gd.; Cloth Gilt, 38. 6d., 



By James M'Govan, Author of " Brought to Bay," " Hunted 
Down," " Strange Clues," «' Traced and Tracked," &:c 


"Inspector M'Govan's revelations of a city detective, which he pub- 
lishes under the title of 'Solved Mysteries,' do not belong to those 
exaggerated and sensational stories so much in vogue, in which imagina- 
tion is a far more potent ingredient than fact. On the contrary they are 
faithful transcripts of the seamy side of human life, bearing the stamp of 
actuality in almost every line. It is long since we read sketches exhibiting 
such true and natural pathos as 'Meg and Jess,' 'The Marked Ca.'-h-bag,' 
' A Small Bread-stealer,' and ' Billy's Father.' As a rule, detective stories 
only minister to an unhealthy excitement ; but it is impossible to read many 
of these pages without feeling the finer emotions deeply touched, or con- 
fessing to a sympathy with some of those Mhose lives are cast in criminal 
grooves." — The Academy. 

"The stories are unquestionably the best of the sort which have ever 
been written, and whilst they are entirely dramatic they are absolutely free 
from any objectional feature, and show both a close acquaintance with the 
main springs of human life and action, and a rare ability in the art of 
narration." — Whitehaven News. 

"'Solved Mysteries' has in it stories as curious and interesting as any 
that M'Govan has yet given to the world. Those who know the former 
series will welcome a renewal of their pleasure. Those who have as yet 
no knowledge of this clever writer's work are even more to be envied. 
To the experience of a detective he adds much of the power of a humorist. 
Every story in this volume has this natural touch, although the interest is 
much varied." — Scotsman. 

"The stories are of varied degrees of interest, but one, 'A Small Eread- 
stealer,' is pathetic in the extreme; the poor little wretch to whom a 
]nison or a workhouse seems a haven of rest, at last takes refuge from his 
step-mother's cruelty on his own mother's grave, and is only carried thence 
to die." — Literary H'oiIJ. 

"Each is in itself a romance, both interesting and exciting. The 
manner in which they are told is fascinating in the extreme, and no one 
who takes up the volume can put it down without finishing the story upon 
which his eyes first chance to alight." — Sheffield Telegraph. 

"M'Govan has this advantage over his imitators, that he writes from 
actual experience ; his note books and recollections of actual service 
relieve him of any strain on his faculty of invention, and leave him only 
tlie responsibility of so presenting his facts and incidents as to make them 
felling and effectne. Ifroad comedy and the deepest tragedy, the blackest 
phases of criminal character and the redeeming trials so often found side 
by side with them, follow one another in M'Govan's pages, while each 
story has unfailing vigovir and narrative charm. Two or three of these 
tales are as full of genuine pathos as anything we ever read." — Scottish 


ISili Edition, Now Ready; Pictorial Boards, 2s. 6d.; Cloth Gilt, 3s. 6d. 


By James M'Govan, Author of *'Bi ought to Bay." 


•'A thrilling story of crime and its detection. Tiie author has fiap]>ily 
avoided turning thieves and scamps into heroes. The incidents are so 
numerous and so striking;, that there is little douht of their having heeu 
drawn from life, and very skilfully have the materials so obtained Lien 
turned to account." — Pictorvil W'orld. 

"In the first ta!e, the wife of a thief is 'hunted down' to dcatli, and 
many of the succeeding stories show how the resolve of the thief to ' hunt 
down' the author of this mischief and his gang was carried out with 
awful determination and effectiveness. It is not to be sujiposed that tiie 
volume consists of i^athetic sketches alone. In these the author undoubt- 
edly excels ; but there are scences of intense excitement introduced, and 
now and again bits of genuine humour." — Leith Pi/oi. 

"'Hunted Down' deals with criminals, without investing them with 
the laurel wreaths of heroes. There is a strange interest attaching to the 
narrative, and this is perhaps due to tlie fact that the remarkable charac- 
ters of whom the author speaks really had an existence." — Literary World. 

"If there be a fault to find with it, it is that it is too fascinating. The 
tragic, the comic, the grave, and the gay, are curiously blended in these 
Recollections, in the record of which there is much evidence of descriptive 
and imaginative power, and of intimate knowledge and close experience of 
the good and bad qualities of the human heart." — Liverpool Albion. 

" The best of their class, written in a genial style, grave or gay, pathetic 
or humorous, tender or stern, as the subject may demand. M'Govan is 
an effective ally of the temperance reformer, furnishing him with facts 
and arguments, and expressing his teaching with a power and eloquence 
which platform orations cannot surpass." — Dundee Advertiser. 

"There is a pathetic touch, here and there, worthy of Dickens or 
Thackeray, and the fine humanity and delicate taste of the author transfuse 
the whole with a savour of elevated thought, calculated alike to impress 
and benefit." — Afidland Free Press. 

"The same skilful delineation, ability to intensely interest the reader, 
and full command of pathos is apparent ; and so enthralling are its contents, 
that one is tempted not to lay it down until every page is read." — JIiill 

" Full of graphic experiences, and told in such a manner as to beget in 
the reader a sympathy for the erring, and an earnest desire to aid them in 
reforming their ways. M'Govan's sketches display wonderful power, his 
style is natural and simple, frequently pathetic, and relieved by narrations 
of humorous incidents." — Conrnnt. 

"Interesting and exciting, thoroughly well-written, and altogether free 
from slang, the book positively does not contain a dull page." — Bookseller. 

" Besides having this moral effect, they are possessed of great literary 
merit, are skilfully constructed, and felicitously told. Their diction, and 
the spirit which pervades them, show that the writer has a pure cultivated 
taste, a warm tender heart, and generous sympathies, clearly in love with 
all that is fair and beautiful." — People's Friend. 


12tlx Edition, Now Heady; Pictorial Boards, 2 G; Cloth. Gilt, 3/6. 





"Nowhere in the English language, so far as we know, are there any 
dectective stories which can equal these for interest and genuine ability. 
Any one who siinply rushes through them may not discover all the teaching 
there is in them ; but the thoughtful reader will not fail to see that, while 
the author of the book is telling a story, he is pointing a moral." — Scolsj?:an. 

" Here we get a sketch of the humorous, and then some patheticstory 
which shows how well Mr M'Govan has gauged the depth c^ijj^man 
feeling. The stories are graphic, vigorous, and intensely fascinatmg — so 
much so that we have taken the book up again and again ; nor have we 
been satisfied with one perusal, but many sketches have invited a second." — 
Pictorial World. 

"A master of pathos and humour. Those who know the once-popular 
works of ' Waters,' will admit that the Edinburgh detective is a long way 
ahead of the earlier narrator." — Nor^uich Mercury. 

" Equally at home with the tragic, pathetic, or humorous, most of his 
sketches are fascinating in a high degree. As the adventures and incidents 
related are personal reminiscences, they come before the reader with a 
freshness and reality which, under other circumstances, would be impos- 
sible. M'Govan is unsurpassable in his particular line of literature." — 
Rotiierham Advertiser. 

"That genius M'Govan — surely the very Dickens of detectives." — 
Peof-les Friend. 

" So intensely interesting, and so well told, that it was with the gi-eatest 
difficulty we could stay our reading until we had completed the volume. 
The stories are pathetic, pungent, eloquent, forcible, and to the point, and 
possess a power of concentrating the attention of the reader not often found 
in the modern novel or story." — Liverpool Albion. 

"The ingenuity of the detective in following up the most shadowy trail 
of evidence in the pursuit of criminals, gives to the narrative a strange 
fascination. " — Bookseller. 

"The best detective stories (true stories, we esteem them) that we ever 
met with." — Publishers^ Circular. 

"The stories written by this author are about the purest and best of the 
kind which have been published." — Daily Review. 

" Many are of a character to awaken the best and kindliest feelings of 
our nature, to draw out our sympathies towards the characters described, 
and our admiration towards M'Govan for his sense of humour, his insight 
into human nature, his mastery of pathos, his graphic descriptions, and the 
lot of good human nature with which this keen-eyed Edinburgh detective 
is charged. It is the best book of the kind we ever read." — Newcastle 


REC'D MltUlg 


Los Angeles 

rhis book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

^ SEP 10 19^5 

JAKU 1376 
MAR 9 ^S^^ 

«£C'0 MUS-LIB 
8 • 1976 

OCT !^'3?^^^4 

NOV 3 1978 

Form L9-Series 4939 

Semi -Ann, loan 
JUL 2^ B" 
NOV \ 


OCT 2 7 1989 

FEB 26 I 


AA 000 903 291 3 





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